Review Summary: Certainly a savage transition of styles, isn't it?
This might be surprising to most fans of Benighted, but the Benighted you now know is not at all the Benighted of 2000-2002. They were a band incredibly unsure of their musical direction, making awkward attempts at melding goth-style black metal with grind influenced death. The musical talent was present, but the composition sure as hell wasn't. Come "Insane Cephalic Production". The album greets us with relentless drumming, so rapid fire it defies all drumming logic. There are some messy but still entirely enjoyable shreds, and, of course, Juliens lovely, spine ripping pig squeals and titanic roars. Gone is all the discombobulation from their previous records-Benighted is carving their niche as being an unfiltered and purely brutal. They want nothing more, and nothing less.
Normally this would grow cumbersome, but where many bands like this flounder about Benighted shines. Benighted-to be overtaken by darkness. This is the album where they prove that statement. The gutturals are filthy and there's ample guitar distortion and string bends to make for a truly maniacal sound, once again, all paired up with their monster of a drummer. All the instruments and vocals off this album ravage you like a maelstrom, never ending their destructive currents at any moment. Tracks like "Bestial Breeding" and "Foetus" are incredibly raw and unrestrained, and while what i'm about to say applies to these two tracks, it can really apply to the whole album-these tracks are just goddamn HEAVY. This is something rather divisive about Benighted-they aren't exactly known for being a band of much substance, and this album doesn't deviate from that notion at all. While the musicianship is stellar, with some really magnificent guitar shreds being the pinnacle of this (like ones off of "Deviant"), the album is simple in its purpose. The album is just brutal, crushing fun. Take that as you will.
Even for fans of that style of music, their are some things to nitpick about. Namely the occasional inclusions of shrieks across the record. Julien sounds like he's forcing his range a bit much some times, however since the shrieks are relatively sparse this isn't a major complaint. Their is also the rather awkward spoken word from "Perpetual Cannibalism", which can only be best defined as a high pitched, relatively forced shout. Thankfully it's backed by the usual crushing drum patterns and guitar riffs, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
There you have it. It's the beginning of proper Benighted, a band who has found their musical identity and utilizes with utmost confidence, even if their sound is the aural equivalent of hammering an infant with a mallet. If you like heavy, meaty riffs alongside drum patterns and growls that are like the footsteps of a giant, then you will enjoy this a lot. However for music with a message that has an important driving theme, look elsewhere.