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Benighted - "Carnivore Sublime" (CD)

Benighted - "Carnivore Sublime" CD cover image

"Carnivore Sublime" track listing:

1. X2Y
2. Noise
3. Experience Your Flesh
4. Slaughter/Suicide
5. Spit
6. Defiled Purity
7. Jekyll
8. Collection of Dead Portraits
9. Carnivore Sublime
10. Les Morsures de Cerbère
11. June and the Laconic Solstice

Reviewed by on March 25, 2014

"...even those who absolutely hate the pig squealing should give the album a listen anyway just to hear how insane a metal album can get."

French outfit Benighted has kicked the metal into high gear and cranked the nob to 11 with the staggeringly chaotic mix of brutal death and grind on “Carnivore Sublime.” The extreme nature of the vocals – even more so than on the standard death metal release – will likely split potential listeners and be a turn off for some. But even those who will absolutely hate the squealing should give the album a listen anyway just to hear how insane a metal album can get.

The tracks on “Carnivore Sublime” are the equivalent of a sudden devastating storm: they show up, annihilate everything for two or three minutes, then leave. Unlike quite a few bands in this style, Benighted actually manages to clearly bring in different influences on each track and make the songs stand out from one another. In fact, calling it a schizophrenic album wouldn't be too far off the mark, between the experimental ping ponging of styles on “Spit,” the sudden and drastic change in pacing and atmosphere on the title track, or the deathcore vibe in some of the guitar work.

Vocal variation is on overdrive throughout the album, with high pitched shrieks, low growls, and harsher “cleans” that you might hear from an industrial or punk band. That variation is welcome, but for one exception: the pig squeals. They are a prominent feature of the album, and if you can't stand that sucked-in air squealing that's unintentionally hilarious, you are definitely going to get less out of the album. Some of them go so unpleasantly wet and gurgled to the point that only serious pornogrind fans are going to get any enjoyment.

That being said, there are still plenty of other vocal styles in the maelstrom of “Carnivore Sublime,” and the musicianship is top-notch extreme metal mayhem, so give it a try even if you hate the most over the top grunts death metal has to offer.

Highs: This is chaos made manifest: it's everything extreme metal should be.

Lows: The pig squeals, oh good god the awful pig squeals!

Bottom line: Brutal death and grind collide in a chaotic maelstrom of extreme metal. If you can deal with the pig squeal vocals, this is a ride well worth taking.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)