Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Benediction - The Grand Leveller (1991)

Benediction are one of those bands whose album covers were far fucking cooler than the music found within. I remember picking up 'Subconscious Terror' way back when, and besides the fact that it featured Barney (Napalm Death), I thought that the album art and its color scheme were fairly impressive. How could this suck, right? Let's just say that I had much to learn in those days.

In my opinion, Benediction are one of those bands that should have been left unsigned as their rather bland take on death metal ultimately proved nothing but to further saturate the scene with second and third tier acts, a practice taken to the extreme by the gluttonous tendencies of metal labels the world over, caught up in the frenzy of signing any and every band that just so happened to refer to themselves as being a death metal band, talented or not. Despite what the "old school death metal' fagsters tell ya, no... not every band from the early '90's was a winner, and despite the fact that I secretly rooted for Benediction to "deliver the goods", the fact is, they only managed to come up short each time.

This isn't a "terrible" album by any stretch, but it just isn't very interesting, either. The one thing that certainly fell into the band's favor was the fact that Barney's successor, Dave Ingram, turned out to be the possessor of one of the better vocal roars in the field, even though he would be constantly overshadowed by his more well known peers.

Like their countrymen, Cancer, Benediction barely manages to serve up a platter of stale and forgettable tunes that may or may not cater to a horde of alcoholics in the midst of a drunken frenzy, attracted to just about any incoherent mess being pumped out of the stereo as long as the volume nob is maxed out. Trust me. Once the festivities have subsided, there will be no desire to revisit the sounds of this album.

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