BENEDICTION
Scriptures
(Nuclear Blast Records)
46:50min

There are certain bands that bring back memories when you read about them or hear their older tunes. It was back in 1995 when DEATH and BENEDICTION played live in Bremen and a young Metalhead just started to discover all kinds of Death Metal bands and went to the tour busses outside to meet some of the guys. And the unexpectable happened. I met Gene Hoglan, who was more than kind and also introduced us for some rare minutes to Chuck Schuldiner and later to the BENEDICTION guys. They were planning to stay in Bremen overnight, as they had a day off, and invited us to come back the next day to party with them. Their former drummer Neil was nearly my age back then and his parents asked the BENEDICTION guys to take good care of him. It was one of the coolest things that ever happened to me and drinking in their bus the next day was more than fun, as you can imagine, and for a 15 year old Metalhead it was the coolest thing that could ever happen. But after “Grind Bastard” I somehow lost them. When the news were spread over the social networks that BENEDICTION are active again with 3/5 of the original line-up, I was more than curious to hear their new stuff. And what can I say? The opening track ‘Iterations Of I’ is UK Death Metal at its finest. It sounds like they never stopped making music and present the band tighter than ever. The song is a damn wrecking ball with a good structure and a classic touch. The drumming of their new drum monster Giovanni Durst is brilliant and damn tight, but also the return of Dave Ingram on vocals seems to have unleashed their old power. ‘Scriptures In Scarlet’ continues and combines everything what fans of classic UK Death Metal were longing for and even more. It sounds like we are back in the 90s, but finally their sound received the production their material deserves. This time all is more focused and powerful and, as mentioned, the songwriting is tighter without lacking the old school feeling. It is really a pleasure to listen to songs like ‘The Crooked Man’‚ ‘Stormcrow’ or ‘Tear Off These Wings’, which really nail it. But I could mention all twelve tracks as the album has no fillers, just killers. The new unleashed energy of the band is audible in every track and for me “Scriptures” is one of the best BENEDICTION albums, as it combines all phases of their 30 years longing career. Combined with the new found power and a killer production of Scott Atkins, the album turned out as a real surprise and closes the gap a little bit that BOLT THROWER left, even though both bands can only be combined a little bit of course. And by the way, with ‘Progenitors Of A New Paradigm’ they wrote the best Death Metal track of the year 2020, honoring DEATH with a little help of a friend called Kam Lee. While the album has also been rounded off by a cool cover artwork and has been released on their longtime label and is available in all kind of formats, everybody who has no copy so far should get it to get the skull crushed. For more info, check one of the following sources: www.facebook.com/benedictionband or www.nuclearblast.de

Michael Kujawska

Michael Kujawska

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