By James Barager
CALGARY — “We always try to push the boundaries of speed and brutality. Not just with ourselves, but the genre as a whole.”
One listen to France’s Benighted will let you know that vocalist Julien Truchan is serious about that statement, especially after 2014’s Carnivore Sublime. You know the episode of The Simpsons where Homer becomes a prize-fighting boxer because he can take a whooping? That’s you. You’ve listened to brutal death metal played at speeds that you thought couldn’t be topped, leaving you in daze, but still standing. Which, in turn makes Benighted the feared Drederick Tatum, and you’d better believe they’re more than ready to make orphans of your children.
One thing that sets this French quintet apart from a lot of big label modern death metal is that they aren’t particularly technical.
“It was simply never a priority for us. We’re very bored with modern technical death metal.”
Rarely venturing out of simple 4/4 or 6/4 timing is a welcome change of pace after wading through band after band that exist solely to show you how hard they can shred, because sometimes you just want to bang your head at whiplash-inducing speed. Not to say that guitarists Oliver Gabriel and Adrien Guerin (who has since been replaced with Emmanuel Dalle) are slouching on the shredding front. Rather the contrary, as they blitz through riffs that give one carpal tunnel from listening to them and solos that have all the momentum of a runaway freight train (or Mr. Burns’ mayoral campaign.)
“We chose the name Benighted because of how it relates to what we want to sing about. Our lyrics are largely about psychology, particularly the darker side of it. And it can be used as an insult.”
For those of you who have better uses of your spare time than sifting through the dictionary, Benighted means ‘overtaken by darkness or night’ or ‘intellectually or morally ignorant.’
The name fits like a glove, as frontman Julien Truchan narrates a collage of tales about psychological disorders from a variety of viewpoints, at speeds akin to Rod and Todd after having their first pixie stick. (Heh. No sugar in a pixie stick. Oh Bart, you little scamp.)
“Our biggest influence is without a doubt, Napalm Death. We really feel the energy they put out. Not just live, but on the albums as well. We strive to create a similar experience.”
Benighted plays at Dickens on Wednesday, March 11th with support from Quebec’s Bookakee and Calgary’s Path to Extinction and Train Bigger Monkeys.AB, Alberta, benighted, Dickens