Benighted - Dogs Always Bite Harder Than Their Master (EP)
Season Of Mist
Brutal Death/Grind
10 songs (33:55)
Release year: 2018
Benighted, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Having missed the last couple of albums from French death/grind brutalisers Benighted, it seemed only right to catch up with the band and their latest EP, released to mark their twentieth anniversary. It contains three new songs, a cover, and six live songs recorded in their homeland earlier this year, and all are terrific. Of the new songs, opener Teeth and Hatred is probably my favourite, quickly overwhelming with pace and heaviness, grind riffs churning out beneath the throaty grunts and squee-eee-eeals of vocalist Julien. Yet there's much to like from the following Martyr, indulging in some near-industrial percussion before going all-out, and the slightly slower-paced title track is especially good, featuring guest vocal spots from Aborted's Sven and Der Weg Einer Freiheit's Nikita - just because this is music about murdering everyone doesn't mean extreme metal isn't basically a big, happy family! There's definitely more of a death/grind feel to songs rather than brutal death, keeping with the band's skilful appropriation of genres to keep their sound fresh, and making me look forward to future material from Benighted.

Choosing to cover a song as well-known as At The Gates' Slaughter of the Soul is an interesting move, and Benighted more than pull it off, injecting the original with a hefty dose of venom that more than eliminates any lingering metalcore vibes and showing that guitarists Emmanuel and Fabien are more than capable of adding a little melody to their otherwise sledgehammering riffs. And it's a nice change of pace before the excellent live tracks, which perfectly capture (what I imagine) the experience of seeing Benighted live is like. The crowd sound pumped-up from the moment the creepy intro to Reptilian hits, and the sound is excellent, not dominated by drums and allowing the bass clear space to operate; it's the best live material from a band I've heard in a good while, and makes Benighted a must-buy when next they hit my town. There's even a couple of live guests, Black Bomb A's Arno on the superbly-titled Cum With Disgust and Shining's Niklas Kvarforth on Spit, the latter more noticeable and helping give the song a creepier atmospheric vibe with its dips into sludge. Unborn Infected Children (again featuring Sven from Aborted) is probably the best overall of the live tracks thanks to the multiple bassy breakdowns, as catchy as the sick kids of the title. As a whole, the EP is excellent and has more than refreshed my interest in Benighted; what a pleasure to have two albums and the rest of their great discography to catch up on now.

Killing Songs :
Teeth and Hatred, Dogs Always Bite..., Unborn Infected Children (live)
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by Benighted that we have reviewed:
Benighted - Asylum Cave reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Benighted - Icon reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Benighted - I.C.P. reviewed by Crims and quoted 87 / 100
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