The new Benea Reach album “Possession” has definitely been an unexpected but welcome surprise in this first half of 2013. It came out more than five years after their second release “Alleviat” which was largely appreciated, especially here in Europe.
This six-piece Norwegian math metal band is striking everyone with the success of their first single “The Mountain” taken from their latest album “Possession”, brought to you by Spinefarm Records. “The Mountain” is actually a kickass song with a magical touch which makes it really catchy and appreciable despite is complexity. That songs starts as a really complex track which slowly gets more clear, outlining a well-defined structure. This is especially thanks to an amazing chorus with the versatile and agile voice of their singer Illka, who is capable of delivering killer vocals with a unique and intense touch. Let’s see if “The Mountain” actually reflects the quality of the content of the full album.
The album is triggered by the immense sound of the first track “Woodland”, characterized by a complex rhythmic structure and a heavy dose of originality. It also delivers a solid melodic approach in some segments. You can even detect a strong Tool influence in the second part of this song. The second track is the well-known first single, which is followed by one of the most characteristic and charming songs of the album, “Desolate”. In this track Ilkka uses all his various skills at their very best, also supported by a the guest appearance of a female voice. The most touching episode of the whole album and one of the best overall tracks.
This band implements a lot of influences in their math metal sound. This ranges from traditional Scandinavian metal (looking like a black metal version of The Dillinger Escape Plan) to even some hardcore hints in tracks like “Shedding Skin” or “Crown”. “Crown” in particular doesn’t give up the progressive approach heard so far and despite it’s “hardcore” approach it’s the longest track in the album.
A truly moving track is “Empire” with its dramatic chorus, perfectly performed once again by the unquestionable skills of the vocalist Ilkka. His voice might not be appreciated by everyone for its very rough and unconventional style but in this track he expresses his skills at such an high level that you just can’t deny his incredible talent.
Towards the end of the album we find a typical math song in “Constellation”. With aggressive and groovy sections and a clean chorus which gives Ilkka the chance to express his talent once again over a complex rhythmic structure. He compliments the intricacies built by the alliance of drummer Marco, who also exhibits a very original style for the duration of the album, and guitarists Martin and Alwin. The track “The Dark” leads us to the blackest side of the band, while the latest one “Aura” is a softer song, bringing back the very appropriate female vocals. It’s a song mainly based on ambiance and a modern groovy progressive guitar riff.
This is definetly not a simple album. You’ll need to listen to it more than just one time to appreciate the refinement of such passages which will be manifested only after several listens. This is a smart, well-done mix of math/progressive metal with modern metal elements and true Scandinavian heaviness. Altogether, it produces a unique product which might not be appreciated by everyone, but has something really special to offer.
PS: The album can be purchased on Amazon (hard copies) and iTunes (digital download), and can be streamed in its entirety at metalhammer.co.uk and on Spotify. Also don’t forget they’ll be playing at this year Euroblast Festival in Cologne!