From all the bands that are going by the name of Benighted, it's the French one that's the most known. Their previous releases Benighted, Psychose, Insane Cephalic Production and last years Identisick are all well renowned by specialists of extreme metal and I'm now honoured with a promo of their latest effort titled Icon, which stands for "Infinite Conscience of Nothingness". So that you know!
Benighted's logo and their artwork (and thus your first impression) might let you think that they're your average brutal death metal band. Now let me tell you this: they're not. These guys cross all kinds of extreme metal substyles, starting with the grind intro 'Complete Exsanguination' followed by the excellent showcase of what Benighted is about, namely 'Slut'. This mix of grind and technical death metal completed with vocal lines ranging from deep grunts and pig squeals to hardcore screams make clear that Benighted has no boundaries.
Track three 'Grind Wit' kicks in as a rock song and also features a rap, but further on rages as the first word from its title may expect. Songs to follow are more groove orientated, characterized by melodic guitar passages ('Forsaken' for example makes me think of Anata) - however mostly layered on brutal blastbeats.
Another thing that makes this record so great is that every song really stand on itself. No track can be compared to another, while they're all very grind and death metal orientated. Add segments of melodic death and thrash metal, an incidental breakdown and the multi-vocal throat of singer Julien and you've got a horizon-wide range of variation in where Benighted operates. And how, 'cause their excellent musicianship and the recording/producing quality of Icon makes it a really outstanding disc in the world of extreme metal.
03. Grind Wit
04. Saw It
06. Smile Then Bleed
07. Pledge Of Retaliation
09. Human Circles
11. The Underneath
12. Blindfolded Centuries
Olivier "Gab" Gabriel - Guitar
Liem "Litchee" N'Guyen - Guitar
Eric Lombard - Bass
Kikou - Drums