“The Brimstone Aggrandizement”

By Dr. Abner Mality

DAVE INGRAM is back! And he’s brought Rogga Johanson with him! And Dr. Who!

I think Benediction is a dead duck these days, I haven’t heard a peep from them since 2013. What a shame, as they were absolutely one of my favorite death metal bands. But in their place, we now have Echelon, who have absolutely nailed the sound of Benediction classics like “Transcend The Rubicon” and “The Dreams You Dread”. Rumbling, grooving mid-paced death metal that hits your gut like a battering ram!

And with Mr. Ingram, the undisputed voice of Benediction, fronting the band, how can they miss? This guy just about wrote the book on articulate growls along with Bolt Thrower’s Karl Willets. His grimy, gruesome tones bring authenticity to every song here. As for guitar duties, this will be band 1355 for Mr. Rogga Johanson. Seriously, does this fucker ever sleep? But true to form, he creates the exact tone that Benediction was known for back in the day. Add some members of Ribspreader, Paganizer and Cropsy Maniac to the mix and how the hell can Echelon fail?

It can’t and when you hear killers like “Plague of the Altruistic”, “Lex Talionis” and “The Feared Religion”, you will be in ecstasy if you’re a Benediction fan. “Of Warlocks and Wolves” adds a bit more melody that we are used to and final cut “Monsters In the Gene Pool” has a jammy, almost bluesy tone. This last song bleeds into “Sonic Vortex”, which shows these guys are major league fans of old school Dr. Who. It’s simply the 60’s version of the eerie Who theme mixed with samples and sound effects. Cool beans!

Originality quotient is zero, but since Benediction is gone, who cares? Echelon is here!