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BENEDICTION


BENEDICTION “So Let It Be Written...” 

By Dr. Abner Mality

It’s impossible to talk about the fathers of British extreme metal and leave BENEDICTION out of the conversation. Fittingly enough, they come from Birmingham, the home of metal. In the last couple of decades, their output, if not their very existence, has been pretty spotty, but uncertain times seem to be done for them. They’ve returned to their original label, independent colossus Nuclear Blast, and their new album “Scriptures” is very much a defining work for the band.

Something else is back...their iconic singer, Mr. Dave Ingram, who has lent his bellicose roars to BENEDICTION for the first time in many years. I’ve talked to Dave before, so it seemed a natural step to pick his brain about the new album, his return to the fold and the numerous other projects he’s involved in.

Therefore, take heed, ye brethren, and behold the following scripture to receive divine illumination...


WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Greetings, Mr. Ingram! It looks like things have come full circle for BENEDICTION in many ways with “Scriptures”.  Did things snap right back into place when you rejoined or did it take a while to settle in?

DAVE INGRAM: Hey mate, thanks for the interview. It’s much appreciated. Cheers to all the Wormwood readers out there, too!
Okay, so here we go. Yeah, things did manage to snap back quite quickly for us. After the initial hook-up online, and the agreement on the Return to the Rubicon for all concerned, it was only a few weeks before I flew to Birmingham (UK) to meet up with the guys again and rehearse together. Things fit into place very quickly all around and it soon felt the same as before—even with the newer guys, Dan and Gio. For me, this is the strongest lineup the band has had and the new album is testament to that, if I say so myself (and I will, because I’m fucking proud of the album!).

WC: Are the methods of songwriting pretty much the same as they were years ago or have you found a different way of doing things?

DI:  Obviously, with me living in Denmark, we use the internet to stay in touch and songwriting is done in the same manner. The guys will write a song, send me the music and I would write lyrics to it and record them at home. Then we could see if the track needed anything extra—or even something removed, if necessary—and then once we were all happy with it, we could sign off on it and move on to the next one. It’s a good way to work and it’s how I personally have been doing it since 2012.

WC: “Scriputes” is a very traditional BENEDICTION album, much in the vein of “Transcend The Rubicon”. Will this be the template for future recordings or will you experiment a bit more in the future?

DI:  It’s impossible to say, really. This time around we definitely wanted an OSDM album, though with a modern twist to it. Maybe next time will be the same? It really is impossible to tell, although it will be a BENEDICTION album, that’s for sure!

WC: Was Nuclear Blast pretty much the only choice when it came to labels or was there interest from others?

DI: The band was already signed to them and with that, there were no other labels that we could have wanted. Why stray away from the best? Nuclear Blast Records have shown consistent quality and support to the band for many years. They’re a killer label and very cool to work with. Incredibly professional! 

WC: The new album has a pretty cool looking cover that harkens back to your classic albums, even down to the choice of colors. What’s the story behind this work of art?

DI: You answered it yourself! It was to bring our past to the forefront of the band now and give that old school flavor just by looking at it. We hired the service of a fellow named Wolven Claw, though he does go by another name. All I shall say is that he once played for BENEDICTION on the 1992 European tour, when we were out with BOLT THROWER and ASPHYX. So we kept it in the BENEDICTION “family” again. 

WC: Would you say that the band writes music purely for the fans now or do you pretty much write just to satisfy your own creativity?

DI:  It’s certainly a little from Column A and a little bit from Column B! Definitely both those reason. Lyrically, too. I wouldn’t feel comfortable singing something I’m not totally satisfied with. That’s why I like to write my own lyrics when singing on other projects as a guest,  too.  It’s very important to have control over one’s own art and to be happy with the outcome.  When something is no longer fun, it becomes a chore and it’s time to move on. Keeping one’s self satisfied will negate that from happening.

WC: Is there one particular song on “Scriptures” that maybe has more meaning for you than the others? 

DI: Not particularly, but I have quite a soft spot for both “Scriptures In Scarlet” (It was the first track I worked on) and also “The Crooked Man” (since that’s somewhat autobiographical). But if I was to look at the album, I certainly couldn’t pick an outright favorite. It would be too difficult. It would be like asking me which of my dogs is my favorite...I love them equally!

WC: There are several songs I’m interested in lyrically. For example, who is “The Crooked Man”  and is he inspired by a real life person?

DI: Yeah, as I just said, it’s about me. The song delves into my illnesses both mental and physical—which is heard in the line “torn asunder, head to hip” due to  both the mental illness I suffer and the osteoporosis which has led to me having both of my hips replaced. This crooked man has most certainly now been reborn. Ever forward!

WC: “Progenitors of a New Paradigm” is another one that intrigues me. What’s this one about? I know you are hugely into Dr. Who and sci-fi...is that an influence here?

DI: You are half correct! That particular track is inspired by Dr. Who...namely, the episode “Victory of the Daleks” from 2010.  But it also has another meaning, as in we (BENEDICTION, as we are today) are starting a new paradigm of death metal by turning the clock back and creating an old school sounding album in modern times. This is why Kam Lee, THE progenitor of growl vocals, was on that song as a guest.


WC: How about “In Our Hands, the Scars”? What’s that about?

DI: In truth, I have absolutely no idea what that song is about. I had a moment one day when I start a stream of consciousness in writing and I just let it run. That song is pretty much how it all came out in one continuous flow. The track name is actually a play on the title of a book by my favorite author, Harry Harrison. His book “In Our Hands, the Stars: The Daleth Effect” was about Denmark being the first country to have anti-gravity and go into interstellar space—something I have always thought of as a wonderful story idea. I couldn’t put it into a song directly...I did try...but thought changing “Stars” to “Scars” worked pretty well, I thought. A tribute to Mr. Harrison, R.I.P.

WC: I know you are heavily involved in the Church of Satan. Does that have a bearing on BENEDICTION’s lyrics or is it more of a private thing?

DI: It’s more of a private thing, though it does have a minor effect on my lyrics. Nothing major. I rarely like to talk about this in interviews so if anyone would like to learn more, then feel free to visit the FAQ section at www.ChurchOfSatan.com .

WC: Dan and Gio are the “new” guys in BENEDICTION. Did you mesh with them right from the get-go? What do they bring to the table?

DI:  Dan and Gio, aka Tom and Jerry! Oh yes, it was an immediate like for those two guys. Very talented musicians and both on the younger side of 40. This helps to keep us crumbling bastards in check.  But seriously, they are both really nice guys and it was an immediate friendship when we started working together.

WC: Will you stay involved with your other projects like DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN, URSINNE and the like? 

DI: You bet your ass I will! In fact, I am writing new albums for ECHELON and URSINNE right now. Plus my other new project HELLFROST AND FIRE has its debut album out in a couple of months and there will be a new DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN at some point. I’m not ready to give those projects up but I will state that BENEDICTION is my prime and number one band.

WC: Are you still involved with your “Metal Breakfast” radio show? Do you have any other projects you’d like to tell us about?

DI: Absolutely, yes! We were supposed to record some shows together this weekend but we had to cancel at the last minute. BUT we are getting together soon so we can get some more crazy stupidness back on the air...obviously with a lot of beer and metal! I’ll put some links up at the end of the interview for all the things I’m involved with so people can go take a look if they so please.

WC: Covid has taken a terrible toll on live music. Are there any plans to tour or play in 2021?

DI: There are definitely plans but we’ll have to wait and see how things go and how effective any vaccine is. There is talk that things MIGHT be better by the summer...but for now, we just don’t know. With a virus and a pandemic, it is impossible to judge. We hold all the highest hopes that we can tour again and that it is sooner rather than later.

WC: Any last words or messages?

DI: Many thanks for the interview! Greetings to all the BENEDICTION fans reading this. Stay true to your scene and the scene will stay true to you. And STAY SAFE out there! Wash your hands and wear a mask! I very much hope to see all of you soon.

Here are the links of interest I promised:













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