Benediction
Transcend the Rubicon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (149 Reviews)
February 3rd, 2013 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With "Transcend the Rubicon" Benediction prove yet again that their status as one of the most promising British Death metal bands of the early 90's is staying put.

Having released “Transcend the Rubicon”, the album that really kick-started their career and touring extensively with the likes of Dismember, Bolt Thrower and Asphyx throughout 1992, Benediction must have been well satisfied with the amount of international acclaim they were getting from both the media and rabid Death Metal fans. In fact, the only thing that probably angered them slightly was, according to an interview with metallian.com, “a fist-fight with label-mates Dismember in Denmark caused by both bands arguing over the touring arrangements”. However, this built-up anger could certainly have caused the maniacal sound of the band’s third and arguably most solid album, “Transcend the Rubicon”.

Like its predecessor, “Transcend the Rubicon”, from the first crushing seconds of opener ‘Unfound mortality’, never stops being as intense and chaotic as possible. Every song opens up explosively with Brookes’ and Rewinsky’s scything guitar attacks and those battering drum rhythms courtesy of Ian Treacy. Every single lyric is growled grimly yet maniacally by Dave Ingram. Every minute of the album’s running time is charged by a menacing sound that just never lets the listener breathe until the last few destructive moments of ‘Artefacted/Spit forth’ are over. However, what makes Benediction’s third effort so different compared to “The grand Leveller” is that the guitar work is so much heavier, and with each and every song getting straight to the point as opposed to building up intensely, it seems that the band on this album really wanted to make their violent and crushing sounds truly stand out and come to the forefront.

As on “The grand leveller”, the vocals never particularly stood out, but thanks to more cohesive song structures and well-written lyrical content, Dave Ingram makes his voice known and consequently flows along with the rest of the menacing sounds. At times, as on the mesmerizing ‘Paradox alley’ and ‘Painted skulls’, his vocals take their time and seem to spit out each particular lyric, whereas on ‘Violation Domain’, he almost races against time when rushing maniacally through the craziness that the lyrical content would suggest. The instruments generally follow on to his style as well, providing a more consistent sound than ever before whilst also making for a crushing atmosphere that although at times seems a little overbearing, is most definitely satisfying. The guitars, drums and bass work don’t appear to stand out any more than they did on “The grand leveller”, yet when they do come together for a generally maddening sound, as on ‘Nightfear’, ‘I bow to none’ and ‘Bleakhouse’, it almost sounds as if the instruments were creating a collective voice themselves.

There’s nothing on “Transcend the Rubicon” that isn’t evident on “The grand leveller”, but everything here is clearly more atmospheric, more crushing and most definitely more consistent than ever before. Perhaps the cover of The Accused’s ‘Wrong side of the grave’ or ‘Face without Soul’ will make you wonder why they weren’t axed from the album in fear of being labelled ‘filler material’, but with “Transcend the Rubicon”, Benediction had once again proved their worth as one of the most prominent British Death Metal albums of the early 90’s. The band would continue to release four more albums in the 90’s, but unfortunately none quite as terrorizing as this album or “The grand leveller”.



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user ratings (77)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013


1877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Here's the full album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sBI1qej_-0

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

Hawks
February 3rd 2013


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is the only Benediction album I've heard. It's pretty cool.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013


1877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah great album, but in actual fact I prefer 'The grand leveller'.

bloc
February 3rd 2013


34854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love the album art for this one

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013


1877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it looks pretty epic.

Wizard
February 3rd 2013


19407 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is the only Benediction album I've heard. It's pretty cool.

It's ok but all the songs sound the same.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
February 3rd 2013


1877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah that was pretty much my only quip with the album. The instrumentation is furious on here but there isn't really as much variety with the song-writing on here as with "The grand leveller". Nonetheless, a pretty solid album in its own way.

CaptainDooRight
February 3rd 2013


29134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album ripz

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

foxblood
February 3rd 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hm thought this had a review before. whatever album ripz

ShadowRemains
February 3rd 2013


20742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

slays

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


6105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's ok but all the songs sound the same.

Agreed.



Good review, pos.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

FearThyEvil
February 4th 2013


12547 Comments


Definitely checking this out soon.

evilford
September 12th 2013


22570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

decent death metal. nothing more, nothing less.

Digging: Thormenthor - Abstract Divinity

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2013


14352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pre gud yeah

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

BigPleb
September 12th 2013


36666 Comments


Nuh.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

evilford
September 12th 2013


22570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty homogenous and lazy imo but it gets some riffs out

Hawks
September 12th 2013


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah it's good, but no more than a 3.5 imo.

CaptainDooRight
October 15th 2013


29134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hauwks haz spocken

Fozzie
October 24th 2013


336 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Underrated band.

Excellent production on the album and Dave Ingram kills it on vocals.

There are some solid tracks on here with good riffs. Violation Domain, Nightfear, Bleakhouse, and Blood From Stone.

As for the cover art, this is one of my favorites in the genre. Dan Seagrave can do no wrong.

bloc
October 25th 2013


34854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed about Seagrave. He's the best.



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