Benediction - _Grind Bastard_
(Nuclear Blast, 1998)
by: Adrian Bromley (
I'll be honest: I haven't been a big fan of the band since 1993 and the ultra-heavy and cool sounds that were emanating from their _Transcend the Rubicon_ LP. Five years and numerous releases later, Benediction still seem to be caught in a rut. The music, pretty much standard (not too exciting) death metal, has never really reached a peak of interest for many fans, and for that the band has suffered numerous bad reviews and lack of interest in them. The newest LP from the Birmingham, England quintet, _Grind Bastard_, sees the band turning things up a notch. Note: only a notch. More detailed and hard-hitting than 1995's _The Dreams You Dread_, _Grind Bastard_ is quite a refreshing take on the sound and evolution of Benediction since their early days when Napalm Death's Barney Greenway still fronted the band. The music seems a bit livelier here on _GB_ and singer Dave Ingram has allowed his voice to wander away from repetition and sample out various singing styles. On numbers like opener "Deadfall", "Agonised" and the title track, Benediction seem to be on a groove; it's just the somewhat mediocre other efforts here that bring down the high. Mixed about this LP, and I am still shaking my head to the poor covers: Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" and Twisted Sister's "Destroyer". Actually, I shouldn't laugh. Death cover Priest's "Painkiller" on their forthcoming LP _The Sound of Perseverance_ and I thought it was bad. Now I think it kicks. Even though this ain't a masterpiece, _GB_ is the best Benediction album in years.
(article published 9/1/1998)
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