Benighted (Swe) - _Avgrundshjärta_
by: Jackie Smit (5 out of 5)
You may or may not recall that was I rather enamoured by Benighted when they initially introduced themselves to the world with their _Heljarfor_ demo -- a release which in my mind captured the feel of vintage Enslaved and Darkthrone perfectly, while in the process showing up a fair few bands who claim to perform a similar style. It's taken two years for _Heljarfor_'s sequel to take shape, and as before it's difficult to comprehend that this could be the work of unsigned artists, as it represents not only several steps forward for the band, but almost certainly stands out as one of the black metal highlights of 2005. With a notably darker atmosphere than its predecessor, the most indelible difference in the new material is the use of hypnotic, almost Burzum-esque patterns that propel tracks like "Like Draperies of Night Itself" and "Vibration of My Thoughts" into bleakly arresting territory. Likewise the production points heavily to the raw, murky grind of _Filosofem_, and suits the music perfectly, but more than ever Benighted aren't simply the sum of their parts; this is dark, driving black metal that must surely rank among the genre's best kept secrets at present.


(article published 23/7/2005)

9/21/2003 J Smit 5 Benighted (Swe) - Helfarjor
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