Benthos – II
(Eclipse Records – 2021)
Looking like I missed out on 'Benthos 1' obviously, I'm once again nearly left banging my head on the edge of the table, only to discover this is actually the debut album from these Italian lads.
Generally speaking, this Milan fivesome's seven track disc is hugely diverse as it its dynamic, delivering strongly in its prog, extreme and alternative metal influences alike. 'Cartesia' and 'Back and Forth' are feisty melodic metal tracks with screamcore interludes that digest very well. 'Talk To Me' is boisterous and trips over itself enough to ruin the momentum, whereas 'Debris Essence' picks it back up - a swish semi-ballad workout that starts in the I.Q. meets Dream Theater vein before going into a sudden death metal onslaught out of nowhere.
'II' repeats the same tactic although little a little too further on the heavier element for my taste. The album ends on a subtle par with 'Dissolving Flowers', an acoustic driven verse switching to a grunge guitar-backed chorus with soothing flow and vocal sustain that seems to reverberate in your for the last part of the day. An impressive taste, despite a couple or more intervals that grate on the ear a little.
From a nation known for their quality and ingenuity in the metal department, Benthos' debut offering is not too likely to see Italy's standards drop just yet.
By Dave Attrill