Carnivore Sublime: The New Benighted Album Is, Well, Look At It.


It’s wrong to judge albums by their covers; this is a given. Great albums can have shitty art on the front, and terrible records can come wrapped in awesome illustrations. In the case of Benighted’s Carnivore Sublime, however, the album’s cover is pretty much a dead giveaway to what you’ll be listening to. Heavy use sepia tone, Photoshopped blood spatters, a bare tit, a baby—why, this looks like a pretty typical deathcore album! And it is! It is a pretty typical deathcore album! Though they predate many of today’s young brutal whippernsappers by about ten years, make no mistake, Benighted play the deathcore you’ve come to know and love, or hate, or feel slightly irritated by at all times.

From start to finish, Benighted’s…seventh? This is their seventh full-length record? Wow, okay. It’s just that this definitely sounds like a lot of bands’ first foray into death metal. You’d think seven albums in, they’d be branching out a bit, but I guess I haven’t heard their earlier records, so… Anyway, on their seventh full-length record, France’s—wait, I’m sorry, this band is French? Benighted are from France. It’s just that when I think of French music, I think progressive and atmospheric and misanthropic, like Deathspell Omega, and these guys sound like they could be from Connecticut or something… nevermind. Fine, they’re French, and they have a ton of records out.

Okay, French deathcore band Benighted (French! Really!) play what you’d expect. Nonstop blastbeat stampedes, chuggy and slightly overpolished drums, layered shriek/bellow vocals with with pig squeals and the occasional sample of a woman or baby crying. There are a couple of cool moments, especially in the intros, where the band can get moody and heavy. On “Experience Your Flesh” and “Defiled Purity,” the band does some great things in the slower, less breakneck moments, where they create a really dark, menacing sound that reminds the listener of early output from Dying Fetus or Pungent Stench. “Jekyll” also has some cool rhythmic organization going on in it. “Collection of Dead Portraits” even has an awesome melodic breakdown in the middle that’s super creepy and infectious. But like many bands of their ilk, Benighted have all the face-forward symptoms of classic brutal death metallers like Cryptopsy, but lack originality and variety in their music.

Overall, Benighted’s newest is straightforward in the utmost. Lots of cymbals, lots of WHRRRR noises, lots of rapid-fire guts-soaked vocals, a few industrial influences sprinkled here and there. While at moments entertaining, Carnivore Sublime isn’t terribly interesting. But you could probably tell that from the cover.

Benighted’s Carnivore Sublime is out now on Season of Mist. You can stream the entire album here and purchase the album here.

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