Nuclear Blast Records
FFO: Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Cancer, Obituary, Grave
When it comes to British death metal, Benediction are sadly overlooked these days in favour of their peers such as Carcass, Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death. Yet, tucked away in their little corner of Brum is an illustrious career and a discography of albums worth of any death metal collection. The key to Benediction’s string of albums is this: “always keeps them hanging” and that motto has led to the Birmingham band only delivering two albums in the last 20 years. It was written in the cosmos and delivered by Nostradamus himself that: “lo, in the apocalyptic year of perfect vision, Benediction will return for the eighth time” and that album is ‘Scriptures’.
With ‘Scriptures’, Benediction storm back into the death metal world with the thunderous fury of a lightning assault. This is an album which announces their return, not with the herald of a trumpet, but one of an atomic bomb. Benediction are firing on all cylinders delivering pummelling riff after riff of that tantalising old school death metal sound that so many bands try to imitate and ultimately fail. As with all of Benediction’s output, it was expected that there would high quality song writing and crafting with tracks like ‘Tear Off These Wings’, ‘Progenitors of a New Paradigm’ and ‘The Crooked Man’ being among some of the best work that the band have ever released. These are all delivered through a polished rawness, the sort of sound that has come to be expected of a band of this nature; yes, it has a professional and high quality finish, but it is delivered through the charm of a band that knows how to embrace its past and future without alienating its fanbase.
Yes, ‘Scriptures’ does not push any new boundaries or even contains anything unexpected; but then again, why should it? It charges forward, sticking to its guns and it knows it will come out unscathed on the other side. This is an excellent album, sure, it’s not 1993 anymore, but Benediction play like no time has elapsed at all. This is proper death metal. Accept no imitations.