Benediction - Grind Bastards
Nuclear Blast Records

One of the most cruelly neglected death metal bands of the 90s has to be Benedictioin. These five
Englishmen have released albums of well-crafted brutality that have improved visibly with each new
release, with their last album "The Dreams You Dread" being an absolute classic.

Thus, it pains me to say that "Grind Bastards" is the first Benediction album to take a step
backward instead of forward. While solid and heavy throughout, this one lacks the memorable and
brilliant song-writing of "..Dreams". It's a lot more oriented towards the overused "groove metal"
motif, fixating upon simple, repetitive riffs. I love a good chunky groove as much as the next
sicko, but there are several occasions where the groove is beaten into the ground. The complexity
of old Benediction albums like "Transcend the Rubicon" and "The Grand Leveller" are mostly gone.

Still, these guys are better than most even when they are in decline and songs like "West of Hell,"
the frenzied "Shadow World," and the powerful "We the Freed" are all worth checking out. If I were
Benediction, I would forget jumping on the groove bandwagon and add soem of the speed and
complexity of their earlier material. 
...mike korn...

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