Amstetten, Austria – 2008. Forty-two-year-old Elisabeth Fritzl revealed to the town’s police that she had just spent the last twenty-four years of her life in torturous confinement under the watch of her own father, Josef Fritzl in a sealed-off corridor in the basement area of the family home. It was there, that Elisabeth’s father held her prisoner…physically assaulting, sexually abusing and raping her countless times during her grueling captivity. Throughout the span of over two decades Josef Fritzl’s cruel attacks on his own daughter would consequently bring about the births of seven children and one miscarriage. The surviving children were also locked away from the outside world, as Josef and his wife, Rosemarie, would raise them to appear as their own to the outside world. But Josef Fritzl’s demented, and most definitely incestuous, plan came crashing down around him when, on the evening of April 26, 2008, an anonymous tip to police resulted in the arrest and eventual conviction of Mr. Josef Fritzl. He is now spending the remainder of his life in prison as the rest of his family moves on from the horror he inflicted.
This bizarre story is the gut-wrenching, real-life inspiration behind Asylum Cave (Season of Mist), the sixth and latest catastrophically-motivated effort from chaotic French death/grind marauders, Benighted. Revolving around a concept involving a schizophrenic man and his unfortunate copycat obsession with the life and times of Mr. Josef Fritzl. The end result, when combined with the band’s very own ability to unleash technical death/grind monstrosities with no remorse, is no less than twelve maddening excursions into the type of devastating lunacy one would expect to be conjured from such a concept.
Featuring guest appearances by the likes of Aborted vocalist, Sven “Svencho” de Caluwe, and Mike Majewski of Devourment, Asylum Cave is a vicious, groove-laden journey into the jaws of madness and marks yet another stepping stone in the ongoing evolution of the Benighted sound. While the band’s 2003 release, Insane Cephalic Production, definitely made a significant mark within the European scene for Benighted, the new record bears the sort of undeniable strength that could take them even further. The record chimes in with the ever-startling sound of a digital alarm clock and the voice of Bugs Bunny asking famously, “What’s up doc?”. What follows is the relentlessly cyclonic answer to that question, in the form of the record’s title track. The riffs found here, as well as on tracks like “Let The Blood Spill Between My Broken Teeth” and “Unborn Infected Children”, are as thick as a hundred gallons of coagulated blood stopping up the damn drain. While the vast majority of Asylum Cave rests comfortably in a simple and effective-as-all-hell death metal delivery, Benighted stray from that path for a bit of grindcore fury on “Swallow” (gurgling vocals and all) and what strangely harkens back to early-nineties Fear Factory-esque industrial metal on “A Quiet Day”.
With Asylum Cave, Benighted maintain a straightforward approach, for the most part. Their goal of turning us all to dust with their sheer, in-your-face aggression is displayed in blissfully unapologetic fashion. Each song sticks to the other like they’ve all been glued together with the morbidly-inspired story of Josef Fritzl. Benighted have chosen to pass on the story of that nightmarish true story to the masses…and they have done so quite nicely!!