Album: Carnivore Sublime
Genre: Deathgrind/Brutal Death Metal
The mention of France invokes images of the Eiffel Tower, romance, Romanticism and such. One doesn’t expect it to nestle some of the murkiest, most brutal and technically challenging extreme metal bands on the face of the Earth. Benighted, Gojira, Gorod and Deathspell Omega would beg to differ. On their seventh studio album Carnivore Sublime, Benighted add to the already impressive slew of tasteful extreme metal albums to come out of France.
Carnivore Sublime is a very calculated assault. Benighted have kept the songs concise and each one has something to offer to the listener. There is an abundant presence of hooks in this album which is not quite common in death metal. Whether it is the chorus in ‘Experience Your Flesh’ or the groovy riff towards the end of ‘Collection of Dead Portraits’, this album stays with you long after the music has ceased.
In Julien Truchan, Benighted have one hell of a vocalist. His ever expanding repertoire is on full display on this album. Low register growls, grunts, pig squeals, screams, screeches and even a little bit of high register pseudo-cleans are interspersed throughout the album to great effect. He is supported by a more than able band who provide a brilliant soundtrack for him to perform his vocal acrobatics on. The guitar duo of Olivier Gabriel and Adrien Guérin churn out some really interesting and memorable riffs throughout. The only guest appearance on this album is by Swedish black metal band Shining’s Niklas Kvarforth on ‘Spit’ and his influence on the track is evident without being overpowering.
It is not just the instrumentation that contributes to the eerie atmosphere of this album. Samples which range from the sound of being choked and gagged to that of a child crying emerge at different points throughout the record to add another dimension to the music and provide the listener with a reprieve from the aggression.
Carnivore Sublime is a very well-crafted album by a band that are totally aware of their capabilities. They hardly put a foot wrong throughout the 37-minute run-time. This is death metal at its catchiest without compromising on the brutality even one bit.