Following up “Asylum Cave” was always going to be a difficult act to follow, but the St. Etienne based Death / Grind crew have come pretty close. “Carnivore Sublime” is the seventh album from Benighted, and the second with Season Of Mist, and it sees them carry on where they left off with on their previous outing.
For the uninitiated, Benighted find themselves somewhere between Despised Icon and Cattle Decapitation. While vocalist Julian Truchen may not quite match the unique talents of Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan, he shows of his many skills during the course of this release. As you would expect from a modern death metal release, a lot of emphasis is based on technicality and high production values. The rhythm section of drummer Kevin Foley and Eric Lombard ensure that the pace is relentless and as brutal as anything I have heard so far this year. In fact there is only about 30-40 seconds of the whole album where the pace slows down, allowing for the occasional breakdown.
Early tracks hint to other influences too. Opener ‘X2Y’ has a strong Brutal Truth sound, and the following track has echoes of Fear Factory’s ‘Cyberwaste’. As the album progresses, there are more tracks which sound familiar, without taking anything away from the bands own identity. Other tracks introduce some hardcore leanings which add a bit more chaos to the technical death / grind on offer. At around forty minutes long, it does enough to leave you wanting more and shows that there is more than enough room between traditional death metal and the often maligned deathcore scene.
“Carnivore Sublime” doesn’t offer a great deal more than their previous effort, but what they do, they do very well and that means that while they haven’t been progressed far, they are still making one hell of a good noise. Progression or experimentation aren’t always necessary, and if Benighted follow this pattern again, there wouldn’t be too many disappointed fans. The band seem to follow the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought, and it seems to be serving them well. “Carnivore Sublime” may not see the band serve up anything new, but this is another impressive release in what is becoming a very strong catalogue.