Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I am able to say this: Benighted has returned to the ass-kicking game in earnest with Necrobreed. After a slight mis-step with 2014’s Carnivore Sublime (which I also reviewed for this very web destination), Necrobreed sees France’s favorite BruTech(tm) purveyors putting forth an inspired, well-plotted, and supremely performed effort on par with their best work.
What Necrobreed does so well is precisely what its predecessor failed to do– it uses the common tropes of the genre to its advantage without relying on any one tool as a fallback. They’re all here: pig squeals, pinch harmonics, bass drops, inhuman blasting, and Benighted deploys them in the right spots and at the right frequency to keep things constantly interesting. “Reptilian” (the true opening track– “Hush Little Baby” is a corny little spoken thing, but more on corniness later) possesses both ingorant-level speed and groove-laden d-beat sections melded seamlessly in a marriage of pointed chaos. “Psychosilencer” then follows with a ripping solo and a shouted gang vocal outro that should be the cheesiest thing in the world, but it OWNS. HARD.
This is another thing Benighted nails here: they’ve never really been afraid of being earnestly goofy in service of an interesting album, going back to the rap breaks and tympani sections of Icon. From incredibly power metalesque lyrical themes that border on Dungeons & Dragons-style scripted quests (albeit a little bloodier) to samples that don’t necessarily translate across the pond (a Commando sample on a song called “Leatherface”), Necrobreed is clearly in on its own fun while still bringing the thunder.
And the RIFFS… my lord. These are just as infectious as anything on Asylum Cave, considered by at least one person (me) to be the band’s crown jewel. And when I say “riffs,” I don’t mean some lame-ass bullshit High on Fire or Electric Wizard skeevy stoner nonsense. I’m talking fretboard-on-fire, finger-cutting RIFFAGE, which Necrobreed brings in droves.
Those of you that follow this site know that I haven’t been actively involved in scribbles for some time now, so please take what I’m about to say very seriously: Necrobreed has single-handedly renewed my interest in extreme music. It’s easy to take this genre for granted, and the glut of so-so material can inflict metal burnout on even the best of us. But when material this strong rears its nasty head and kicks you in the ass, it’s the best sore ass there is.