Spawned from the darkest crevices of the human psyche comes ‘Obscene Repressed,’ the twisted new offering from French deathgrind giants Benighted. Horror and metal have always had a harmonious marriage, but Benighted take this cultural fusion to the next level, delivering a riveting and demented story unlike anything before. No Stephen King novel nor Wes Craven film could ever compare to the sick horrors buried inside this brutal opus.
“This album tells the story of a psychotic boy with oedipal issues,” explains Benighted mastermind Julien Truchan, who is responsible for the concept behind ‘Obscene Repressed.’ “His mother finds his cleft-palate disgusting sod he hides it from her sight at home. Among the symptoms of his psychosis, he sees himself as deeply deformed, has troubles with boundaries, and finds parallel ways to handle his growing sexual urges. He has a deep hatred for his father because he'd like to take his place by his mother’s side.
“As an act of ‘going back inside mom,’ he surprises her with dinner, cooking a meal with his own lips that he cuts off with his dad’s razor. His mother only realizes what she just ate when he takes off his bandages at the end of the dinner.”
But where does one draw inspiration from when it comes to such an imaginative and unique tale of horror? Offering this chilling glimpse into where he finds his muses for Benighted, Truchan says, “I work full time as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital and most of my inspiration for the lyrics in Benighted comes from my professional experience and the patients I have taken care of.” While he’s known to enjoy some classic horror films and the occasional Stephen King novel, he doesn’t relate any fiction to his writing. “My inspiration doesn’t come from movies I’ve watched, because most of the time, they’re giant clichés about psychiatry and far away from the reality.”
The unnerving story, however, is only a fraction of what defines ‘Obscene Repressed.’ Musically, the album is an unrelenting beast that delivers a panoramic aural assault on the listener. Indeed, Benighted put forth a level of brutality and speed that references some of the genre’s greats like Cannibal Corpse and Aborted, but overall, the record exudes a contemporary feel. There is no doubt that ‘Obscene Repressed’ was born in this millennium, drawing influence from some of the giants who defined metal over the past two decades. This isn’t your typical deathgrind album as it unquestionably lends itself to the shaping of the genre’s new generation. Perhaps this is in part due to the diversity that has existed within Benighted, whose lineup has included members Necrophagist, Abbath, Sabaton, and Aborted, among others. However, it’s also evident that the band were influenced by some of the icons of the early aughts, such as Slipknot, to whom the band pay tribute with a cover of “Get This.”
Featuring this bonus cover wasn’t solely about wearing Benighted’s influences on their sleeves, but also about challenging themselves as musicians. ““We really like challenges!” exclaims Truchan. “When we decide to cover a song, we want it to mean something because their music was important to us and our musical history!” This track was an obscure choice, and a deliberate one at that. “The first Slipknot album came as a great surprise and it was out of the question to cover their ‘hits’ as that's too obvious and easy! Covering a band like Slipknot and giving it the Benighted sound was a very cool experience. At the beginning of the track when Corey is asking for a scream, of course I made a pig squeal! [laughs]”
The diverse vibes behind ‘Obscene Repressed’ is further punctuated with a stellar lineup of guest musicians and vocalists, such as Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta on “Implore the Negative,” Cytotoxin’s Sebastian Grihm on “The Starving Beast,” and Disbelief’s Karsten Jäger on “Mom, I Love You The Wrong Way.” “Guest vocals are a tradition for the band,” Truchan explains. “On ‘Obscene Repressed,’ we have three amazing vocalists who were chosen considering the style of the track and what their voice could bring in terms of brutality and originality!
“Inviting my brother in arms Grimo from Cytotoxin on the track ‘The Starving Beast’ was obvious as it’s a very ‘martial’ and brutal track that it would create such violence in the super-fast switch of our vocal combinations! And for the record, I refused to tell him the concept of the story before he sent me his vocal parts, because it’s written like slaves were given to the lions in an arena in front of a bloodthirsty crowd, but it’s in fact about the psychotic boy masturbating in front of his dolls and toys and ‘The Starving Beast’ is actually his penis! [laughs] We laughed a lot when I told him the story afterwards!”
He continues, “About Jagger, he already made vocals on our ‘Icon’ album, but when we wrote ‘Mom, I Love You The Wrong Way,’ I surprised myself trying to imitate him on the chorus, so I thought that it had to be him, as he has such a killer and particular voice! The result is amazing!
“And the most surprising guest on the record is of course Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed! I am such a huge fan of Hatebreed! He spoke about Benighted last year on his podcast so I tried to reach him. When I received the mail that he would do it, I was so amazed! The mix of our vocals is so unique in the history of Benighted! ‘Implore The Negative’ has already become a hymn for me and I am very impatient to sing it on stage!”
Benighted have spent the past few years rising from the underground and dominating stages across the world, including appearances at major festivals such as Hellfest, Inferno Fest, and so many more. The band, however, never imagined this level of success upon their formation. Truchan muses, “When we started, it was just a band of friends. We rehearsed for years every Saturday in my dad's garage and had parties in the evening. We just wanted to have fun with friends, but then we decided to tour as much as possible and see what could happen.” The sudden shift in drive paid off. They eventually started touring and performing with their idols, inked a coveted deal with Season of Mist, and have been the subject of much critical acclaim. “22 years later, things have been beyond my craziest dreams,” adds Truchan.
Benighted sees the greater picture when they pen their albums. It isn’t just about the band’s future, but is about connecting with the fans who have aided in the band’s success. ‘Obscene Repressed’ is no different, serving as an anthem for both dedicated Benighted fans as well as the new listeners they will inevitably win over with this offering. “Obscene Repressed’ is a psychological horror movie to watch with the ears and I hope people will experience it this way!” Truchan exclaims. He also adds “that all the tracks really are made for the stage; I can’t wait to tour and see the moshpit start and, of course, hear the fans roar the chorus with me!”
With the release of ‘Obscene Repressed’ in 2020, there’s no question that the band will keep climbing on their upward trajectory as they continue to make waves in the deathgrind community with their unique concepts, vicious precision, and boldness to experiment outside of the genre’s confines. This is an album for a new era. ’Obscene Repressed’ is the future.
Line-up: Julien Truchan: Vocals
Emmanuel Dalle: Guitars
Fabien Desgardins: Guitars
Pierre Arnoux: Bass
Kévin Paradis: Drums
Recording studio: Kohlekeller Studio (Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany)
Producer/Mixing: Kristian Bonifer
Mastering: Tom Porcell
Guest musicians: Sebastian Grihm (CYTOTOXIN) on 'The Starving Beast'
Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) on 'Implore The Negative'
Karsten Jäger (DISBELIEF) on 'Mom, I Love You The Wrong Way'
Cover art: Grindesign
Press-Kit: https://presskit.season-of- mist.com/Benighted
Pre-sales: https://smarturl.it/ ObsceneBenighted
Available formats: CD
Deluxe digipak including sound fragment of Julien's pig squeal
LP in various colors
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