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A French heavy metal outfit that dabbled in blackened death metal before going full-on deathgrind, Benighted emerged in the late 1990s with a crew that was culled from some of the region's most insidious noisemakers: Dishumanized, Darkness Fire, and Osgiliath. After snapping necks with their 2000 debut, the group went on to issue a string of influential grindcore/death metal albums like Insane Cephalic Production (2004), Icon (2007), Asylum Cave (2011), and Necrobreed (2018), all the while forging new paths of sonic brutality and lyrical depravity.
Formed in Saint-Étienne around the talents of vocalist Julien Truchan, guitarists Liem N'Guyen and Olivier Gabriel, drummer Fred Fayolle, and bassist Chart, Benighted's combustive blend of black metal and grindcore was introduced on their eponymous debut in 2000. The album caught the attention of Adipocere Records, who signed the group the following year. Moving toward a more technical, less blackened form of death metal, the band issued the punishing Psychose in 2002. Chart departed shortly thereafter, making way for new touring bassist Remy Aubrespin. More lineup changes heralded the arrival of 2004's uncompromising Insane Cephalic Production, with Eric Lombard taking over for Aubrespin. The LP was produced by Kristian Kohlmannslehner, who would helm all of the band's session from then on. The ensuing two years were spent relentlessly touring in support of the album, appearing alongside a slew of high-profile metal acts like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Fear Factory, Slipknot, and Soulfly. Implementing elements of thrash, groove metal, and hardcore, the band released Identisick in 2006. Longtime drummer Fayolle was the next to leave the fold, and was replaced by new kit man Kevin Foley, who made his studio debut on 2007's hard-hitting Icon. In 2009 Benighted inked a deal with Season of Mist, and their first outing for the popular French indie, Asylum Cave, followed in 2011. The punishing Carnivore Sublime dropped in 2014, with Necrobreed, the band's eighth studio long player, arriving in 2017. ~ James Christopher Monger
- Saint-Étienne, France
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