Benediction are back in all their gargling, lung-corrupted glory…

For new album Scriptures, the band has completely revisited their modus operandi and g- I’m joking, of course. For new album Scriptures, the veteran British death metallers have done nothing to update or upgrade their sound – but why would they? Always one of the foremost of British death metal bands, Benediction simply do what they’ve always done best on Scriptures, resulting in one of the most enjoyable listens you’ll get all year if old school DM happens to be where your head is at.

Strangely, the band kick off with two of their weaker songs in the shape of Iterations of I and Scriptures In Scarlet; after that, however, it’s heads down into the mire of crust and hardcore-infused frantic death metal with more abandon than is probably wise for men of our vintage… New single Stormcrow is a total ripper, based around a simple chug that’s been around since Discharge were in nappies but none the less effective for all that; recently-returned vocalist Dave Ingram croaks the simple yet effective chorus in time-honoured fashion and you know that, when we are allowed back into venues in anything like decent numbers this one’s gonna go off big time.

Following track Progenitors of a New Paradigm is probably the strongest track on display, again built around the usual chugging guitars (Darren Brooks and Peter Rew bow to no man in the chug stakes, let me tell you) and drums that alternate between all-out kick drum assault and perky d-beat jauntiness. And then, against all the laws of ‘proper’  death metal, the band has the temerity to throw in a chorus you can actually growl along to!

Rabid Carnality and In Our Hands, The Scars do both break up the unrelenting death metal barrage a little, both adding a thrashier fell to proceedings – bassist Dan Bate‘s playing on the latter bringing to mind Dan Lilker as he hammers away – but even these tracks are whipped back into line by Ingram’s unrepentant growl.

Tear Off These Wings and gargantuan closer We Are Legion are also big highlights, and if the fact that Benediction are one of Britain’s most reliably ‘does what it says on the tin’ bands means that there are few surprises here, then the fact also remains that few are better at what they do in 2020.

releases on October 16th.