Fireworks

Benesser - 'The Start Of Something New' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 29, 2013    
 
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A very interesting and dynamic take on modern prog rock.

I have been a big fan of the Christian music label Doolittle for quite some time now. Set up by ex-members of the Swedish Christian band Narnia, Doolittle has flourished over the years with many excellent bands including 7 Days, Divine Fire, Golden Resurrection and ReinXeed gracing the label. Though as those bands are they all play music in the same melodic metal/prog/symphonic ballpark. So when Benesser's 'The Start Of Something New' hit my reviews pile and I saw what label it was on, I had already decided what it was going to sound like. Wow! How wrong was I? Instead of melodic rock etc, I was listening to a Muse/Radiohead like modern prog album that I have fallen in love with.

The musicianship is wonderful, hard hitting and in your face one moment, then softer and more laid back the next. Each song moving from slow and evocative beginnings to bold, brash explosive endings, to keep you enthralled. Check out the utterly brilliant 'Is It You' where the band pour layer upon layer of guitars into the song, so that it builds minute by minute until it finishes with a fiery, powerful and heartfelt conclusion. Or why not give 'Where O Death' (video on YouTube) a try. The song itself is very dark and the guitars, vocals and keyboards fill it up, until the seams of the track are fit to burst; the instruments also seem to have a driven, hauntingly beautiful quality to them as they are being played.

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The real star of this album however is Benesser singer and bassist Robert Olsson, whose almost plaintive voice wrings all the emotion and angst it can from this album's music and songs. On 'For The Eyes Of The Lord' he really shows what he is capable of, for instance. The music starts with a slow mournful guitar refrain, that is soon joined by Olsson's earnest vocal, which is raised in an almost hymn like reverence, then the guitars crash proceedings with powerful riffs and searing solos, that at first seem out of place but soon help the track to construct an all out attack on the listener's senses, until once again the mournful guitars take over to end this wonderful piece of music.

Benesser might not be a band for everyone who reads this magazine; but if you have an eclectic musical taste like me and don't mind trying out different styles of rock music, then this very interesting and dynamic take on modern prog rock could be another album that you might want to give a listen to.

Ian Johnson

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