NORWEGIAN PROGRESSIVE METAL BAND OF THE YEAR: BENEA REACH
So if you’ve previously traversed these here interweb waters before, chances are you prolly know who our-very-favorite-first-half-of-2008-discovered-math-metal band is; that said, the dudes in Benea Reach are bringing the progressive aggressive strength in a major way as well, Nordic styles…and whoah, look at that — their recently-released album Alleviat, just officially made my top-10 list of 2008!! How thpecial…
The vocal (screaming) style is often Meshuggah-reminiscent (with a throaty hardcore backbone, especially on their 2006 debut album, Monument Bineothan), and there is indeed singing here and there as well, allbeit predominantly ambient and in the background…but the music itself feels a bit more straightforward and organic than the aforementioned Swedish metal maniacs — before you cry boring, let me remind you that while simplistic is almost always a disappointing attribute of a band, simple is most definitely not.
And that is hardly to take away from the technical prowess of Benea Reach — the group can surely craft a seriously impressive tune and most definitely rock their instruments — it’s just that in this day and age of progressive metallic folk trying their hardest to be the shreddiest/flashiest/most technical (in a bad way), it’s extremely refreshing to hear a band that cuts through the bullshit and delivers powerful songs directly in your face, with no meandering or dilly-dallying.
The sound is thunderously riff-heavy, but with a very prevalent melodic undertone, which is delicately weaved in with intelligent balance, as so many similar such efforts from other bands have been unable to do…okay, there’s one slightly cheesy tune on the new album, but the rest are pure winners. And from halfway through the first recording, I can more than gladly endorse the epic Monument Bineothan as well.
This band is absolutely worth your time — I likes em a hells of a lots, and happily offer the Wingerschmidt stamp of approvalzzz…
[Special thanks to the Gibbler for turning me on to this band, and for being the 2nd gayest metalhead in NYC]