Metaldays - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

With the initiative to bring more established bands to Metaldays, it of course came to be that some of them would have to play the second stage of the festival.
The English death metal battalion known as Benediction was one of these.

“We’ve had problems the size of Job’s to get here, but we are genuinely happy to be here for the first time!”
- Dave Hunt (vocals)

As it turned out, we hadn’t needed to cut the Overkill show on the main stage short and rush over to get to Benediction on time as they were 15 minutes late due to ongoing problems with the monitors during the soundcheck. Seems their woes weren’t over just because they had reached their destination...
I must admit that my knowledge of Benediction was sadly limited – apart from knowing they were a death metal band and recognising their logo, I was lost. This was one of Lunah’s (Lauridsen, our photographer) choices as you can figure out. Still, we were both surprised to see Anaal Nathrakh vocalist Dave Hunt handle the growling here; not that he wasn’t up for the task, but I didn’t know Hunt sang in anything else but his main band, and Lunah only remembered Benediction from the Dave Ingram days...
Anyway, I tried to keep as open a mind as possible, I have after all been positively surprised by these types of bands in the past, and who knew, maybe Benediction would do the same for me as bands like Morbid Angel and Brutal Truth have done before them?

One thing that surely surprised me was the amount of people flocking around the second stage – Overkill were after all still playing, and I hadn’t imagined that Benediction had this large a crowd, but apparently they did, so more power to them!
Not having much of anything to do until they started playing, I was content in watching them work to get things ready up on the stage, and I found it entertaining to see something as unexpected as a Volbeat sticker on bassist Frank Healy’s instrument!
When Benediction finally went into action, it was time for another surprise – as I had figured, the music didn’t really speak out to me in any certain way, but man could they perform! Everyone in the band seemed like they wanted to make the absolute most of their time here and they were raising hell in a big way! Especially Healy struck me as extremely lively, but the rest of the crew wasn’t far behind, and Hunt did a very good job with speaking to the crowd between songs as well, keeping everyone’s attention pointed in the right direction.

The direction of attention became a bit scattered during the songs though, as the front and the middle of the crowd became a hugger-mugger bundle of people caught up in a mosh and circle pit crossover! Full of energy and at a complete lack of direction this entity, in lack of a better word, seemed the fully appropriate answer to the brutal music pounding out over us.
This sort of behaviour was kept up pretty much throughout the concert, and I guess this was the best way for the crowd to show the band appreciation for their efforts, at least it looked as though the band members were truly enjoying what was going on as much as they fans did.

For my own sake, I didn’t have a revelation which prompted me to check the band further out, but I did have a surprisingly good time, and for that I thank them. I surely enjoyed Benediction more than I had Overkill, so the change felt fully justified.

Setlist (incomplete):

Nothing On The Inside
Unfound Mortality
They Must Die Screaming

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