French brutalists Benighted have been hammering away at this brutal death metal / deathgrind lark for over 20 years now, releasing album after album of consistent quality at a terrifying rate of knots and endearing themselves to steadfast fans of the scene. Which brings us neatly on to Obscene Repressed (album number 9 if you’re counting), whereby these veterans have maintained their penchant for delivering outstanding material via exaggerated blasts of brutal deathgrind laced with groove, technical wizardry and all manner of unexpected tasty treats.
Suitably unhinged for the most part, it’s the delicately played acoustic intro to “Brutus” and the Cynic-esque jazzy sojourn mid-way through album highlight “Muzzle” which surprise the most. Fear not, ‘normality’ soon returns as Benighted go about eviscerating your already ravaged corpse, eagerly looking for fresh delights to gnaw on for the remainder of the album.
However, there’s far too much experimentation on display to label them as bog-standard brutal death metallers, and it’s Benighted’s appropriation of extreme metal influences from across the board that keeps Obscene Repressed sounding fresh and invigorating. Whether it’s the sheer bloody-minded aggression and ultra-low gutturals of “Undivided Dismemberment”, the almost Scandinavian melo-death feel of “Implore the Negative” (replete with a percussive delight of an opening 30 seconds) or the insistent grooves of “Scarecrow”, Benighted have you covered; no matter what extreme metal sub-genre you’re currently craving.
Up there with the best material this band has to offer, Obscene Repressed hits hard. So you might as well brace yourself for impact. 8/10
Season of Mist
10 April 2020