Benighted (Swe) - _Helfarjor_
by: Jackie Smit (5 out of 5)
Many fans and veteran acts alike have recently been lamenting the fact that the art of early nineties Scandinavian black metal appears to have been lost forever. While I would tend to agree with that statement, Sweden's Benighted are clearly intent on breathing new life into its flagging corpse -- and judging by their efforts here are more than capable of tackling their chosen task with hefty aplomb. _Heljarfor_ is the duo of vocalist / guitarist / bassist Aho and drummer Salle's first recorded effort, and is instantly impressive on the opening title track. With a lead-riff very similar to vintage Enslaved and more recent efforts by the likes of Hate Forest, this is as bleak, cold and merciless as any fan would wish their black metal to sound. The raw but clear production suits tracks like "Dying Age" perfectly, while Benighted's focus on all four the tracks they offer us never once even slightly hints at faltering. Performed at mostly breakneck speeds, the closing acoustic instrumental "The Tide", replete with the sound of waves crashing in the background, is a beautiful and chilling close to a perfect collection of misanthropic hymns. Clearly true black metal may potentially have their new champions in the form of this highly talented collective.


(article published 21/9/2003)

7/23/2005 J Smit 5 Benighted (Swe) - Avgrundshjärta
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