Benediction, Decomposed Existence
An Club, Athens, Greece
Third time for the English grind bastards from Birmingham Benediction to visit Greece, after their first visit with Deicide in 2001 and with Pestilence and Grave in 2009. If the term we use in Greece “third time and better” exists, it found its pure definition on the latest performance of the British noisemakers. I’ve always been saying the last years that if I was a promoter and was asked to bring two bands to play together, these two would be Entombed and Benediction, for they offer a mass amount of aggression and extremity combined with a tremendous groove that makes people want to sweat their asses out.
Decomposed Existence were the ones that opened the show. Playing for a crowd of about fifty people (which didn’t improve that much later, as the gig was attended by about eighty people maximum), they gave all they had with a pure early European death metal style, very close in the sound of the whole Swedish scene (especially closer to Grave) and bands like Morgoth or Asphyx, whose landmark track “Crush The Cenotaph” was covered exceptionally. Great riffage, steady drumming and a capable frontman/bassist banging his rich hair along the songs is what followed their 45 minutes. They seem to work hard and if they go on like this, they will surely suceed soon enough.
Benediction showed not affected by the lack of a big crowd and they straightly started delivering live lessons starting with “I” and from the first track it is obvious that they are in great mood and with a great sound, they don’t have anything else to do but going on with “Unfound Mortality” from their best album of their first period, “Transcend The Rubicon”. “Nothing On The Inside” is one of their best tracks. Multiple riffs follow one another and the pounding drumming of their new colleague from the Swedish Nominon makes them sound ultra heavy and groovy. Next on the list are tracks from their last release so far “Killing Music”.
“The Grey Men” and “Controlopolis (Rats In The Mask)” are two very good reasons to ask why they don’t release a new album since 2008, no further questioning though as it is time for two old school tracks, maybe their ultimately known “Nightfear” followed by “The Grotesque” with the always fuckable drum intro that drives people nuts. No stopping at all and “They Must Die Screaming” follows, as well as “Shadow World” and “the fastest song Benediction ever wrote” according to Dave Hunt which is of course “The Dreams You Dread”. Our necks keep working relentlessly and “Suffering Feeds Me” is the last one before the latest part of their gig. They always claim that encores are bullshit and they just tell us there’s three more to go.
“Jumping At Shadows” starts another old school death metal lesson, followed by “Subconscious Terror” and it’s times like these where you simply realize that no matter how years pass by, some things never change and they also bring you great memories. “Magnificat (Irenicon)” is simply the last sample of what we call flawless performance. It only lasted an hour but the fourteen tracks mentioned above prove without any doubt that some bands show how great they are not only on the stage but also on their way of acting. Benediction are a LARGE band though they will never have the followers they deserved. Who gives a fuck anyway? The only negative thing is that after this unexplainably poor attendance, we may never see them again, at least in Greece. I hope I will be proved wrong of course, in any case though, four times witnessing them in my life can be nothing else but pure luck.
Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.