Review Summary: Originality rants aside; this is Benighted’s best…. and darkest offering....
‘I merely wait in cold, drowning black, holding no true sense of time or bodily awareness. Grasping the absence of physical interaction, I have only mere memories and faint recollections of the outside world and a life lost to sadistic restraint. These memories are kept resolute with the help of picture books and a stuffed plushie at my bedside. Chilled tile to bare feet marks an unnerving reminder of day’s lost in this prison that I’ve called home, with the faint commotions from above keeping me hesitant and still. It is the plodding of footsteps, the shuffling of keys and the unlatching of a lock that keeps this nightmare forever alive. And the dark silhouette as he approaches through the narrow, tapered domicile quickly dilutes the booming silence. There is no true choice. I have forever acclimated myself to this daily malevolence…’
Much like the group’s musical compositions, it’s Benighted’s moniker to exhibit subjects of insanity through mental anguish. Since the release of 'Insane Cephalic Production', the group is yet to disappoint with their brand of voracious death-grind. The formula has stayed the same and in my book, that’s a good thing. With this latest offering, Asylum Cave tackles the make-up of a madman obsessed with Josef Fritzl following the schizophrenic progression of his day from A-Z.
The sequences from track to track slowly and articulately detail a descent into madness from the time our subject awakes to his slow deterioration of self and those around him. These elements are accentuated with Olivier Gabriel’s and Liem N’Guyem’s dual, guitar riffing and a whirling drum performance from Kevin Foley. While hectic and exhausting, it’s nothing out of the ordinary for this group. The opening/title track introduces a cheese ball alarm clock sampling giving birth to our subject’s evident demise with violent, whirling guitar punches. The high and low end vocal arrangements from Julien Truchan take the best offerings from 'Icon' and 'Identisick' and merely twist, contort and refine with fiendish precision.
While the laughable title rant on the opening of ‘Let the Blood Spill Between My Broken Teeth’ tends to overstay it’s welcome, the guitar work provides some appetizing licks right into ‘Prey’ and the lightening quick ‘Hostile’. While these tracks all have something worthwhile, its ‘Fritzl’, ‘The Cold Remains’ and ‘Shadows Descend’ that truly grab the listener. The plodding guitar work at the 1:50 marker of ‘Shadows…’ marks all that is heavy and domineering with Benighted. The trademark of crafting guitar riff after guitar riff will keep listeners coming back for more.
‘Unborn Infected Children’ and ‘Lethal Merycism’(Tasty) are heavy, twisted ballads to Fritzl and the 26 year incarceration of his daughter in the family basement. Although these audible portrayals are grim and disturbing in their own right they will nonetheless up the replay value. And with the Nasum cover of ‘Wrath’ providing one last kick to the face, I can’t find any reason why the respected grind enthusiast shouldn’t pick this up.
That’s really all that needs to be said at this point. ‘Icon’ will forever be the album that truly turned heads for Benighted
but it is Asylum Cave that builds on that same destructive formula. I might be eating my words later, but this album is utterly flawless and will be hitting many end-of-year lists. Bask in the brilliance and glory of this dominant beast. Album of the year contender for sure…….