It has been ten years since I saw Benea Reach in a tiny local venue in the Netherlands; they were the first Metal-influenced band I had ever seen and I fell in love instantly. Dark-haired Norwegians; head-banging; the singer who ran after me when I left, to hand me a free patch; the experience is still vivid in my mind. Yesterday, the Oslo based quintet put their new album Possession up for stream, exclusively via Metal Hammer.
For any who are new with this band, Benea Reach are considered to become the future leaders of Norwegian Metal. The band was formed in 2003 by Marco Storm of Selfmindead fame, together with band mate and vocalist Ilkka Volume. After recording a live demo, the group disbanded. In 2004 Benea Reach was reformed with four new members, among them Christer Espevoll of Extol. In 2006, the band was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Awards for their debut album Momument Bineothan, making an early career statement.
Seven years later, Benea Reach is about to take it one step further with their new release Possession. The influence of Meshuggah’s EP None is still cleary present through its complex dynamics and progressive sound. These vigorous elements also remind me of The End’s last effort Elementary. A pinch of Deftones is added to the mix with hoarse clean vocals that are back up with dark melodies and riffs. Vocalist Ilkka Volume’s authentic, bipolar vocal ability intensifies the overall sound, gearing from low belly-aching screams through to high manic shrieks.
Benea Reach takes their progressive approach to a new level on Possession, introducing a female voice to tracks like ‘Desolate’ and ‘Aura’. It’s an asthonishing surprise that’s like a burning torch in the darkness, breathing safety and warmth. However, the spheric guitars in ‘Crown’ and ‘The Dark’ throw you back into the shadows, showing off the band’s dark side. Personal favorites on Possession are ‘The Mountain’, the first single, ‘Nocturnal’, and ‘Shedding Skin’, tracks that give insight in the band’s core sound and prove that Benea Reach is still going strong.
Possession is powerful full length album that will please any Benea Reach fan. Yet it shows the ability and motivation to grow as a band and explore their boundries. After two nominations, it’s time Benea Reach wins the Norwegian Grammy Awards. Possession will be released through Spinefarm Records on March 25th.
Track list – Possession:
- The Mountain
- Shedding Skin
- The Dark
Written by Tim van Reyswoud