Record Reviews

Album review: Benediction “Scriptures”

With Dave Ingram back on vocals, British death metal band Benediction is in fine form on its new album.

Benediction has been a British death metal institution since its formation in the late 1980s. In 2020, Benediction still plays fierce, forceful and pummelling music that hits you in the chest. Solid and rock steady. Uncompromising. Sweaty. Terrific vocalist Dave Ingram, of Bolt Thrower fame, is back following more than two decades away from Benediction. Benediction’s original vocalist was none other than Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway and during Ingram’s long absence the band was fronted by Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh. Original guitarists Darren Brookes and Peter Rewinsky, who co-founded the band in 1989, are still here and they are joined by newer additions Dan Bate on bass (ex-Blaze Bayley) and Giovanni Durst on drums (ex-White Wizzard). This is a very good version of the band. The band is tight and Ingram’s vocals are fierce. “Scriptures”, the band’s eighth studio album, is a terrific effort from Benediction. Birmingham is holy ground for heavy metal in general and even in the extreme metal category. But Benediction stands up very well to the local and international competition with this new album. “In Our Hands, The Scars” is an obvious and immediate favourite track on the album. The combination of the heavy rhythm section and Dave Ingram’s fantastically brutal voice is a winner. The guitars are of course there but they take a back seat to the bass, drums and vocals on this track. “We Are Legion” is another favourite track where the guitars get to play slightly more prominent roles. Other terrific tracks include “Iterations of I”, “Stormcrow”, “Progenitors of a New Paradigm”, “Rabid Carnality” and “Tear Off These Wings”. Like many other Birmingham bands, Benediction does not compromise. It is a band that plays the music it wants to play. What others expect of them is irrelevant. There is a bit of Bolt Thrower’s freight train approach to music evident here too but, while the music never stops being as heavy as a ton of bricks, there are also more melodic parts to some of the music. This is a very solid death metal album.

Benediction’s new album “Scriptures” will be released on 16th October via Ward Records in Japan and Nuclear Blast Records internationally.