"Withering Strands of Hope" (Relapse)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Benumb literally means to dull the senses. "Withering Strands Of Hope" is thirty-two tracks of pummeling hardcore/grind in twenty-four minutes; you read that right - thirty-two tracks in twenty-four minutes. The disc achieves exactly what the band's name means - a dulling of the senses (in a good way of course).

The blur of Benumb is sparse and almost completely lacking in ornamentation. Frivolous additions to Benumb's music would only take away from the band's power. Ranging from punk-ish hardcore to raging groove-like death metal, "Wither Strands Of Hope" spews forth venomous charges like a hate filled diatribe. The music is incredibly durable despite its speed and chaotic nature.

Benumb's social commentary plumbs the depths of despair in modern society - these are not pleasant topics, but it is something that Benumb sees dominating the specter of everyday life.  

While this kind of material is not particularly my favorite style, fans of the hardcore and grindcore genres will certainly find Benumb to their liking. 

"Withering Strands Of Hope" was produced by Bart Thurber (Spazz, Exhumed). 

Benumb is Pete Pontikoff on vocals, Rob Koperski on guitar and backing vocals, Dave Hogarth on guitar, Tim Regan on bass, and John Gotelli on drums. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:10 -0400.