Benighted – Asylum Cave

Yesterday just kind of sucked. Except for the fact that the Capitals beat the Penguins, but even that was a bit of a snoozer at 1-0. By the end of the day I was eyebrow-deep in a rather foul mood. It’s times like these when I head online looking for extreme metal impulse buys hoping to find something punishing (yet quality) that I can blare at loud volumes to let off a little steam and calm my temper. Having so much damn music already it can sometimes be a chore to find something new and good that I don’t already have in my collection. Towards the end of the night I was beginning to despair of finding anything to satisfy my thirst. Then I came across “Asylum Cave” by Benighted. I’d picked up their previous album, “Icon” but somehow missed “Asylum Cave” when it was released last spring. I greedily lapped up a few preview tracks on iTunes to make sure it would satisfy the craving and then pulled the trigger on my iPhone to buy it.

“Asylum Cave” is the sixth album for French death metal band Benighted. I love that the music is fast, fairly technical and brutal yet also crisp and punchy. I get turned off by a lot of death and black metal bands that have so much “atmosphere” that they sound muddy and distant. I like my extreme metal tight and in your face. The vocals are very harsh and vary between extremely deep and somewhat high (with occasional piercing piggy screeches) and they are mixed perfectly with the music. This was exactly what I needed.

I’ve talked with people who aren’t metal fans who had the opinion that people who listen to such extreme metal must be prone to violence, or at least inspired to violence, by such brutal music; yeah, but there’s a time and place for that – the pit. But during the course of my everyday life brutal music actually has the opposite effect of calming me by directing my rage into the music and leaving me calm and spent afterward. Some people when they get overly stressed turn to cigarettes, alcohol or worse in order to take the edge off. I’m guilty of that myself from time to time, but extreme metal works just as well I’ve found. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I call this sandblasting my soul.

Hopefully today is a better day. If not, at least I’ve got Benighted to help get through it.