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BENEDICTION
BENEDICTION
Transcend The Rubicon / The Dreams You Dread
(Metal Mind Productions)
100:57min

Well, I don't think it's necessary to introduce BENEDICTION here in depth. The UK Death Metal institution is already around for a quarter of a decade, their guitar duo Darren Brookes and Peter Rew navigated the band through all the changes of these times and they still are alive and well. And anybody should know the stories about BENEDICTION and their former singers, who left for better known acts. Original singer Barney joined NAPALM DEATH and became their mouthpiece after the first BENEDICTION album, while his follow-up Dave Ingram didn't have the luck to permanently replace Karl Willets in BOLT THROWER. Despite all these changes, BENEDICTION have become an institution in the Death Metal scene, never being one of the top names, but a band that always released good to very good albums. And that's why their 1990s albums were re-released via their original label Nuclear Blast already in 2008 in double CD editions as part of the Reloaded series. The Polish company Metal Mind now made them available again. This double disc features the albums “Transcend The Rubicon” from 1993 and “The Dreams You Dread” that came out two years later. To me, “Transcend The Rubicon" always was a little bit of a plain Jane in the discography of BENEDICTION, that had the greatest artwork on the other hand, with the fantastic Dan Seagrave painting which just looked fantastic as a vinyl LP. Sadly, this artwork wasn't honoured on the shitty cover of this re-release... “Transcend The Rubicon” wasn't as smashing as the first two, especially “The Grand Leveller”, even though it still was a very good album, that had some great grooves and good songs as well, especially the opener 'Unfound Mortality' or the a little more complex final 'Blood From Stone'. The re-release features the two original CD bonus tracks as well, including a well-done cover of 'Wrong Side Of The Grave', from mighty THE ACCÜSED - well chosen and a prove of good taste, by the way. As another extra, we find two more tracks that were recorded live at Wacken Open Air 1998, 'Saneless Theory' and 'Deadfall', in good quality. But this double CD of course has another disc to offer with "The Dreams You Dread", originally from 1995. On this album, BENEDICTION took the course a lot of other bands from their era followed back then and became more mature. But becoming mature in this case didn't mean following the trends and become Groove Metal or Gothic. BENEDICTION's way of maturity was slowing down the speed a little more, trying a more up-to-date production without straying off their course too much. And walking this path was partly worthwhile. The album started off a little bit chewy with 'Down On Whores (Leave Them All For Dead)', but in the long run, songs like 'Where Flies Are Born' or the intense 'Answer To Me' know how to convince the listener. 'Path Of The Serpent' quotes the mighty AMEBIX in the first line (“No Gods, No Masters”) and gives a fine hint on the band's roots again. With the closing double of 'Saneless Theory' and the title track, the fastest song on “The Dreams You Dread”, BENEDICTION have saved the best for last. After listening to the album again, it occurred to me that I liked it more when it came out in 1995. But maybe that's just a sign for the quality of the contemporary Death Metal scene. So, if you haven't got the original albums yet, this re-release is a chance to fill the voids in your collection. Check the band at: www.facebook.com/pages/benediction/463721850351250, or the label at: www.facebook.com/metalmindproductions or www.metalmind.pl

Thomas Meyer

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