Benumb - _Soul of the Martyr_
(Relapse, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (8 out of 10)
Benumb produced mixed feelings in me. On the positive side, they do not evoke memories of the stagnant "precise death/grind" or the incomprehensible boredom of "white-noise grindcore". I think what they are doing with the style is commendable. The band's approach seems primarily to be the original spirit of grindcore -- play fast and insanely -- mixed with some of the trademarks of hardcore, as opposed to sticking to the punk which grind was founded on. They draw vague comparisons to Brutal Truth (sadly now departed), though only in style and not in excellence, as far as I am concerned. Benumb's efforts to mix things up are successful and the multitude of sudden stops, starts and unpredictable blasts is assailing and technically impressive. The band have also bestowed the buyer with thirteen bonus tracks. Twelve are taken from various 7"s, and one is an eight song live performance. Though a minority of you may have most of these, they are still easily accessible and double the CD's length while only repeating a few songs live and none recorded. The result of all this is a CD with very good value for tracks and a pretty uncomfortable little journey into Benumb's world of blasting hardcore grind. Whether I want to go there again, though, only time will tell.

(article published 16/1/1999)

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