Some artists seem cursed to linger upon the precipice of success, the lustful ear of total domination is but a hair’s breadth away. How must it feel to be linked with this desperate struggle? I imagine it to be rather punishing like a consistent uphill trudge, albeit one to fortify the spirit and make one push harder against fates path. I guess this is also what finishes an awful lot of bands careers, although many seem happy to lurk amongst the filth of the underground many of the undergrounds top artists enjoy a more charmed existence to those less known making the battle all the more fierce.
One such band whom I cite to be fighting the aforementioned war would be Benighted. These French purveyors of Grindcore and Brutal Death Metal have a lengthy history beginning in 1998 and whilst they have charmed the French their presence seems less felt overseas. Having witnessed Benighted on home soil myself I can attest that their fan base is very strong, at least abroad. Nevertheless I digress, we are hear to talk about Dogs Always Bite Harder Than Their Master the bands latest EP and follow up to last years full length Necrobreed. The EP features three brand new tracks, a cover and a host of live tracks.
EPs always strike me as rather odd creatures, are they additional content for hardcore fans, starting points or cheaper alternatives for those seeking out new artists? I guess they have many functions. Whatever the case may be Benighted waste no time in blasting us into a Grindcore mush of visceral paste with the opening three numbers. All of which exhibit the masterful vocal range of Julien Truchan bashing us from pillar to post with guttural growls, shrieking squeals and at points nigh on Hardcore tones. All this backed by Grind ridden drumming and fast paced Death Metal influenced guitars is surely a recipe for success.
Alas it is a success, yet a short one. We soon find ourselves amid the At The Gates cover of Slaughter Of The Soul, arguably one of the most classic Death Metal (or Melodic Death Metal) tracks ever produced. As I have no doubt mentioned in the past I detest covers and whilst this version is equally as pointless as any other cover song it is at least locked safely away on this EP. It isn’t bad, it’s just unnecessary when you consider I could just pop on a copy of the classic At The Gates version. Rant over, let us move onto the live portion of the album, now this I like. It really feels as if Benighted want to give their fans more for their money littering the tail end of this EP with a host of classic tracks performed live as if presenting a sort of roundabout compilation.
So is this EP one you should rush out and buy, personally my answer to that would be no. Stick to the bands full length releases and douse yourself in their unappreciated Grind laden brutality. If however you are a die hard Benighted fan and simply cannot live without any of their music then go crazy, three new tracks a cover and a host of live offerings can’t be bad. All this said I won’t be clambering to this EP for too long, rather I will be looking to my copy of Carnivore Sublime and the hideous delicacies in which it lays out.
(6/10 George Caley)