I do like Benighted, since 2000’s self-titled debut they’ve been cranking out some of the most effective and vicious death / grind around. 2014’s ‘Carnivore Sublime’ was a career high-point for me and an absolute stormer of a record. I’m happy to say that the band’s ninth studio album “Necrobreed” is just as good with unhinged grinding violence and driving death metal riffing throughout. This has been on heavy rotation at Eve Mansions since I received it.

There’s been a hefty line-up change with only original Benighted members Julien Truchan (vocals) and Olivier Gabriel (guitar) remaining from the previous record (and I’m told Olivier has now left too!) It matters not though as new lads Romain Goulon (drums) Pierre Arnoux (bass, backing vocals) &  Emmanuel Dalle (guitars) slot straight in with no issues.

The production is clear, slick and in your face while still maintaining a raw edge that will delight those of us who detest that overproduced, soulless feeling you sometimes get on albums in this genre and the album as a whole has a less complex feel than say “Carnivore Sublime” or “Asylum Cave”. The album has a loose conceptual idea to it and according to the promo material “Julien Truchan penned lyrics dealing with a man, who is stitching dead animals to his abdomen. On feeling the warmth of his infected flesh, the schizophrenic gives birth to carcass and places it in his house as the result of a severe childhood trauma involving a dead cat.”  Typical!

Asphodel from French avant garde metallers Chenille narrates very sinister sounding version of the nursery rhyme “Hush Little Baby” which leads you into first song proper “Reptilian” an absolute barnstormer of death/grind magnificence which has genuine face peeling power….. and so has every track on the record. There’s some nice little touches here too. For example the Arnie sample (from Commando) prior to “Leatherface” and that sweet little bit of drumming at the start of “Versipellis”. The band can deliver some crushingly heavy riffing amongst the blasts and lightning fast guitar work too such as the intro riff to “Reeks Of Darkened Zoopsia”. Album highlight for me is “Cum With Disgust” (well it would be wouldn’t it?) a tribal, Soulfly esque intro leads into a fantastic blaster with brilliant vocal performances and a chorus that will get you yelling “cum cum cum cum with disgust” and fisting the air (or each other).

If you’re a Benighted fan this will more than satisfy you and it should also be on the buy list of Cattle Decapitation, Black Dahlia Murder and Dying Fetus fans. You won’t be sorry.

(8/10 Mark Eve)