Album Review: Benediction – Scriptures

Album Review: Benediction - Scriptures

Album Review: Benediction - Scriptures
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

2020 will be viewed as an absolute disaster in so many ways but in terms of blisteringly good metal, few years can match it. The latest slab of prime fillet is the return of Birmingham death metal legends Benediction whose album ‘Scriptures’ marks the next chapter for this brutal outfit. ‘Scriptures’ marks the reappearance of vocalist Dave Ingram who steps into the shoes of double decade serving Dave Hunt who stepped away to finish his PhD. The first album since 2008’s ‘Killing Music’ sees original members Darren Brookes and Pete Rewinsky joined by Ingram and for the first time on record, drummer Gio Durst and bassist Dan Bate.

Although renowned as one of the original masters of death metal, time waits for no man and with a multitude of ferocious new outfits jostling for position in the DM league table, ‘Scriptures’ needed to be something substantial to reach Benediction back into the top flight. It’s pleasing to report that Benediction have blasted back into the stratosphere with a bludgeoning 46 minutes of pulsing, driving death metal that retains all the raw power one would associate with the band.

Album Review: Benediction - Scriptures

The sound is massive, attributable to a sterling production from Scott Atkins, with the pummelling drums attacking from the opening bars of ‘Tear Off These Wings’. Ingram is in fine voice, his raging delivery as firm and powerful as it was back in those early 1990s. The riffing is intense, a powertrain of relentless savagery that leaves no where to hide.

It’s a combination that is colossal, with tracks such as ‘Neverwhen’, ‘The Blight at the End’ and ‘Stormcrow’ steamrollering their way through. Benediction vary the pace and approach, but never release the intense heaviness that has been their trademark over the years. Retaining an element of rawness that is essential, it’s the concrete foundation of the new engine room that really anchors the band and gives options for expansion.

Dive more deeply into ‘Scriptures’ and you’ll find gems like ‘Progenitors of a New Paradigm’, the longest track on the album where Ingram barks his way above the chainsaw guitars, and the pounding ‘In Our Hands, The Scars’ which ensures the door on this album slams shut with sheer brute force. In a world of chaos and despair, the return of Ingram may seem minor, but one listen to this bone crusher of a release and you should be grateful for even the little things.

‘Scriptures’ is released by Nuclear Blast on 16th October

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