It's been twenty years since Benighted released their debut, self-titled record - and seemingly to celebrate, the band have crafted an album that can only be described as pure insanity, and I mean that in the absolutely best of ways. Obscene Repressed was released earlier this month - and I'm just gonna fucking say it: this is their best, most brutal material in the history of the band. The album is a fucking masterpiece from beginning to end, and even though the band are highly regarded in the brutal death metal scene already, Obscene Repressed is the album that is going to put them into the death metal legend status the band deserves. But don't take my word for it: dedicate forty minutes of your time to Obscene Repressed, and you'll quickly learn the boundaries these French metalheads have pushed with the new album, and the knee-buckling brutality the band conjured up to deliver to their fans. If this album doesn't blow you the fuck away, I don't know what will. These twelve new songs are here to punish and destroy, and will devastate the ears of the unworthy. If there's one piece of advice I can give you this far into 2020, it's to listen to this album!
The title track kicks off the album that wastes no time as vocalist Julien Truchan's insane, iconic shriek leads the pounding instrumentals into a full force, relentless parade of death metal greatness. It will pretty much instantly get your head banging as guitarists Fabien Desgardins, Emmanuel Dalle and bassist Pierre Arnoux chip away at your fucking brain with their damning fingerwork which translates into utter fucking insanity. If you like your death metal fast, loud, and heavy, Benighted have literally written your bible with the release of Obscene Repressed. Tracks like "Nails" and "Casual Piece of Meat" are highlights of the album for me, and help highlight the inhuman skill of Kévin Paradis, the band's drummer who continues to just unleash punishing blast beats throughout the record; how the fuck this guy still has use of his wrists after recording this album is beyond me. While there's so much awesomeness going on on this album, make sure to pay close attention to Paradis' drum work because it is so insanely intricate and fast - it may be easy to overlook with some much chaos going on around it, but when you really pick the instrumentals apart, you'll find so much sickness. "Smoke Through the Skull" is a powerful headbanging track - one that I seriously hope the band decides to throw into their live set because it would be such a sick live track. Again, those blast beats are just absolutely relentless on this song and Truchan's vocals alongside them are just perfection.
Benighted brought along some amazing friends for this record - three, in fact. "Implore the Negative" - this sick death metal jam with this tribal-sounding intro and plenty of Julian's iconic shrieks - has the legendary Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed on it; a pairing I never knew I needed, but now can't live without. Sebastian Grihm - also known as Grimo - of Cytotoxin (who is possibly one of the most underrated death metal vocalists; more people need to listen to Cytotoxin!) jumps on "The Starving Beast," this really wicked Aborted-esque track that is just a fucking fury of intensity that just continues to build and build, it's easily one of the best tracks on the album, and if you're looking for one song to try out before jumping face first into Obscene Repressed, this is the song to do it to. And last, but certainly not least, Benighted brought along Karsten Jäger of Disbelief to jump on "Mom, I Love You The Wrong Way" - a sinister track with one of the wickedest solos on the whole album.
As much as I love all of the previous material Benighted have released over the years, Obscene Repressed honestly feels like it's my favorite. When a band writes an album of all bangers, it's hard to ignore the hard work that had to have gone into it. Obscene Repressed feels like it's the album Benighted have been working towards all these years, fine-tuning their sound and crafting their uniquely devastating brand of brutal death metal. I cannot recommend giving this album a spin more - this beast has pretty much instantly jumped to the top of my death metal essentials list. I can't wait for Benighted to make their way to the U.S. so we can hear some of these tracks live - it's going to melt faces. Buy this record.