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Rating:
8.0
Benevolent - The Covenant
18 March 2014


01. Void
02. Asphyxia
03. The Seeker
04. Radiate
05. Illusion
06. Heathen
07. The Collector
08. Dissipate
09. Metamorphosis
10. Ascension
11. Rebirth


The album was recorded at Haven Studio in Dubai and was engineered, produced, and mixed by Hadi Sarieddine and mastered by Tesseract's Acle Kahney at 4D Sounds in the UK.


Cartographers take heed - Benevolent are here to put the Middle Eastern metal scene on the map.

The Covenant is a diverse and forward-thinking amalgamation of complexity and melody. It also happens to be incredibly catchy in spite of its focus on the ambient side of things, thanks to the groovy djent influence. And while the atmosphere is on the more "warm and inviting" side of things, it's still upbeat, aggressive, and pretty friggin heavy. Not to mention the songwriting has improved greatly since their already impressive debut EP released back in 2010. And backing up all of this dynamic instrumentation is a combination of clean and harsh vocals, both of which are utilized perfectly throughout the album.

Of course, it wouldn't be prog without its technicality, but these guys incorporate their talented displays of skill within the progression of each song in a way that doesn't distract from the flow. They also don't bother with any 20-minute guitar journeys, which this reviewer appreciates greatly.

Andols Herrick (of Chimaira) did an excellent job behind the drum kit, another standout element of the band's sound. And the production isn't too crisp so that somewhat unrefined quality gives the overall mix a certain abrasive flair.

It's easy to point out aspects of the band's sound that can be compared to Dream Theater or Meshuggah, but Benevolent are far from being a carbon copy. This album has its own identity and is definitely one of the better albums to be released at this point in the year. It has all the makings of an album that will appeal to the entire prog fanbase as well as those who maybe don't often listen to this style of music.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 22.03.2014 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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mz - 22.03.2014 at 01:05  
Hehe Troy reviewing (and loving) a progy, djenty metal album was something I never expected =p
I am so checking this out right now.
Troy Killjoy - 22.03.2014 at 01:10  
Written by mz on 22.03.2014 at 01:05
Hehe Troy reviewing (and loving) a progy, djenty metal album was something I never expected =p
I am so checking this out right now.

Pretty surprised myself to be honest. It's not like I go around looking for this stuff but the few times I do listen to prog/djent it's not usually an experience I enjoy. Glad this one challenged my preconceptions.
JD - 22.03.2014 at 01:20  
I haven't heard a lot of albums this year, but am defnitly gonna check this one.
R'Vannith - 22.03.2014 at 06:07  
I saw Nef's pick for this one but haven't had a crack at it yet. It seems that their choice for a band name reflects their atmosphere which you describe. I'm not the biggest fan of djent but this sounds like something I'd enjoy, thanks for the review, will check it out also.
.:Nataras:. - 22.03.2014 at 11:31  
Thanks for review Troy! i will check it... can't wait for that...
BloodTears - 22.03.2014 at 12:20  
Glad to see you reviewing and listening to prog, Troy

Definitely interested in this.
Fredd - 22.03.2014 at 12:58  
I loved it too, surprisingly. And I hate djent.
mikeprado30 - 24.03.2014 at 01:32  
Which is the reason some people hate djent? I found it nice and different
psykometal - 27.03.2014 at 03:37  
Troy positively reviewing a prog/djent album?! What has the world come to? Has hell frozen over? O_o

That knowledge makes this album a mandatory listen. And then you indicated that Andols Herrick, one of my favorite drummers, is on the kit. That information alone makes it worthy enough to acquire without the standard YouTube pre-screen. I've been waiting for him to get back on the kit.
Troy Killjoy - 27.03.2014 at 04:30  
Written by psykometal on 27.03.2014 at 03:37
Troy positively reviewing a prog/djent album?! What has the world come to? Has hell frozen over? O_o

I even listen to this voluntarily after reviewing it.
Michaelgpc - 30.03.2014 at 21:38  
Really good, has all the essential elements of prog with a nice twist of originality, definitely a band I will be keeping an eye on....

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