Ballad Rage Part 1

Self-released 2011

Flowing melodic black metal and endless blues guitar trance seduce us on the latest recording from Sweden's mysterious Benighted.  This 44 minute long track steps back slightly towards a more a traditional black metal framework but is no less expansive both in its exploration of blues oriented guitar work or melodic melancholy.  The trilling melody at the 6 minute mark instantly grabs you and pulls you into a sorrowful abyss.  Rolling drums tap away sporadically like a spastic jackhammer.  Between their hammering, dream-like synths create added threads of surreality within the fabric of the composition.  Despite using the drums to create a skeletal foundation, the music instills the effect within your mind of floating in a dark void.  Nothing to grab ahold of except the ever-flowing guitars and the occasional deathly shrieks piercing the shadows.  Right around the 17 minute mark the blues scales make their initial rise to prominence.  From that point onward it becomes a delirious jam session of free-form blues, the guitar railing against god, against life, against everything sacred.  The guitar commands your focus and holds you within its cold notes as it wails away in the eternal void.  After, a spanish influenced clean guitar, the melodic black metal framework returns.  And at the 26:44 point we see an appearance by a melody that would do Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger proud.  Unsettling melodic patterns emerge and repeat, creating a feeling of vertigo, that is until the blues guitar rises once again at the 32 minute mark and joins the black metal before overpowering it.  We then begin a third cycle of this entrancing pattern.  If you felt like with their previous couple of recordings that Benighted had ventured to far away from black metal then you will be pleased with Ballad Rage Part 1.  Yet it still gives you enough of a vast musical tapestry to lose yourself within.  The endless, forlorn melodies and blues jams will cause you to lose your footing as you explore this expansive terrain.  Listen to this music in the pitch black darkness for full effect.