October 16th, 2020, Benediction releases its 8th studio album, Scriptures. Die-hard Benediction fans are clamoring to hear that distinctive voice of Dave Ingram (vocals), who departed from the band in 98’only to return years later.
He was the lead vocalist from 90’ to 98’ and re-enlisted in 2019 just in time for Scriptures. After spitting out some of Benediction’s most notorious music to date, 91’s The Grand Leveller and 2016’s Grind Bastard, followers and stalkers alike are interested to see if he can work his magic once again on this much anticipated album.
During his hiatus, he worked on multiple projects: Bolt Thrower, Download, Metal Breakfast Show, and an online streaming radio program ‘Lambert’s Basement’, which featured big band jazz and swing, and he also labored on other undertakings.
Many years have passed and a few questions remain. Has the time spent on other projects ‘softened’ his musical tastes? And can he still hold his own as one of death metal’s strongest leading vocalists?
In Scriptures, we find the answers. This 12 track album delivers on all fronts, and no metal expense was spared.
Producer Scott Atkins of the UK’s Grindstone Studio leaves his experienced and technical fingerprints all over the crime scene, Scriptures. Having worked with some of metal’s best, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, and Cradle of Filth, and having over ten years’ experience as a guitarist himself, Scott is well-qualified to add his ‘touch’ on this project.
Yet, he is careful not to organize the music in such a way that the artistry of the original material is lost.
Original members and guitarists Darren (Daz) Brookes and Peter Rewinsky demonstrate why it takes two guitarists to implement the overall sound of death metal, which play a plethora of distorted and low-tuned guitars.
Although death metal made its debut in the mid-80’s, Benediction proves that age is only a number, as they perform their best guitar work to date. Giovanni Durst (drums) is responsible for the powerful blast beats, speedy drum kicks, and showing off his prowess around a set of drumsticks.
For almost an hour, he plays with such vigor and aggression, I wouldn’t want to meet up with him in a dark alley. His partner in crime is bassist Dan Bate, whose bass playing adds thickness and crunchiness to the overall sound of Scriptures.
Back to answering those two previous questions. Dave Ingram’s vocal tone has never sounded better, and he doesn’t miss a beat, no pun intended. That signature icy timbre is back, and hopefully to stay.
Iterations of I, track #1, is a pleasant introduction to what follows next — Scriptures In Scarlet, that exhibits heavy, headbanging guitar riffs and phenomenally gripping vocals that aren’t overdone or overbearing.
Masterfully controlled meets unleashed fury. Ironic. Each song is fluid, not too long, and administers just the right dose of Benediction.
The standout on this album is Stormcrow, which is masterfully generated. The guitar work is fancifully detailed, and the dueling guitars are intoxicating.
In summation: Since Benediction’s 2008 studio album Killing Music, this album was well worth the wait ……. a ‘nuclear blast’ on all fronts, no pun intended once again.
The new BENEDICTION album called ‘SCRIPTURES’ is out October 16th on Nuclear Blast. Order at: http://nblast.de/Benediction-Scriptures SUBSCRIBE to NUCLEAR BLAST: http://nblast.de/NBytb SHOP NOW: http://nblast.de/Benediction-Scriptures LISTEN NOW: http://nblast.de/BenedictionScriptures Music and lyrics: BENEDICTION Video footage: LIGHT ENGINE FILMS FOLLOW: https://www.facebook.com/Benedictionband https://www.instagram.com/benediction… https://twitter.com/_benediction http://benedictionband.bigcartel.com
Review by Jordonna Lobese for MPM