Featuring Mark Greenway, he of Napalm Death later, the band was formed in Birmingham in 1989 and immediately set its sights upon the death metal scene. The Dreams You Dread (later an album title for the band) demo got the band a deal with Nuclear Blast Records of Germany, and with an album and the line-up change behind them the band toured with Paradise Lost.
The next album released, the band was on the road with the likes of Bolt Thrower and Asphyx and had a new bassist in tow. Following Transcend..., which saw the band's sound settled a little, the band recruited 18-year old Hutton. In the meantime, Benediction and fellow Nuclear Blast-ites Dismember had gotten into a spat as a result of a cancelled tour. Benediction had incurred costs before Dismember had boycotted a proposed joint tour. The subsequent fisticuff in Denmark did not lead to any ‘deaths.’ Dark Is The Season EP was inspired by David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Some touring problems hit the band next year during the US/Canada tour as the band found itself alone with Bolt Thrower departing to England. Ingram left the fold in 1998 just prior to a tour with Death - first to live in Denmark and later to join Bolt Thrower. His replacement saw his album debut in 2001 with Organized Chaos recorded, "in the middle of nowhere" at Rhythm Studio. The band’s new drummer Nick Barker broke his ankle in the spring of 2006 hence affecting all the band’s activities. Drummer Neil Hutton returned to the band in order to release Nick Barker who was spending time touring and recording with Testament. Hutton was most recently in Stampin’ Ground. The band, which was putting the finishing touches to its next album Killing Music, cancelled its USA tour in the summer of 2007 ostensibly due to immigration issues. The band was using the No Reunion Needed tour monicker in Europe in the autumn of 2008 with Holy Moses and Nominon in tow. Benediction recruited Nick Barker (Monolith, Cancer, Lock Up, Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Testament, Exodus, Dust, Atrocity, Brujeria, et cetra) in 2009 to drum for its South American tour. Benediction claimed to have been forced to postpone its South American tour in December because of “visa issues.” The band insisted the dates would be made up. Neil Farrington, the drummer for Warlord UK, Benediction, Cerebral Fix and Damn Dirty Apes, committed suicide on the 20th of December 2009 at the age of 38. He had struggled with depression for years. A memorial concert was expected to arrange to create a trust for his son Ollie, aged 8.
Despite not being the most innovative of bands, Benediction has stayed mostly true to its music and fan base.
Being one of the more established bands of both the scene and the Nuclear Blast roster the occasion of BENEDICTION’s album number four invites a feature. The Dreams You Dread, the follow-up to 1990’s Subconscious Terror, 1991’s The Grand Leveller and 1993’s Transcend The Rubicon, sees the British band undergoing changes, both musically and personnel-wise. Vocalist David Ingram is given the task of explaining - 1995
ALI “THE METALLIAN”: The title of the current album is similar to your early demo of the same name. Is a lack of fresh ideas the reason behind the choice?
DAVE INGRAM: The name comes from the fact that we’ve had a lot of support from our hardcore fans since our formation seven years ago. The album title is a tribute to them; it’s not because we have run out of ideas. We had other ideas for a title like Aeon, Epoch or Era.
ALI “THE METALLIAN”: The album is the work of Benediction of 1995, a band which is slower musically and less growled vocally. Would you admit to the changes being deliberate ones?
DAVE INGRAM: Bands can go fast and play fast, it doesn’t give the music and power or aggression. We’ve proven that. The vocals are different not because I changed my style, but because producer Paul Johnston mixed them differently.
ALI “THE METALLIAN”: I find it hard to believe that the vocal mix is responsible for the different vocal style, but regardless let us go over a few songs.
DAVE INGRAM: The title track is so fast it will be difficult to keep time on stage. My favourite song is Soulstream whose lyrics flowed the first time I wrote them without any consequent correction. Certified…? Is a continuation of the song Bleak House. A person escapes the asylum so it is not certain that he is still ‘certified.’ Down On Whores is about Jack The Ripper. A diary found several years ago proves its author was none other than Jack The Ripper.
ALI “THE METALLIAN”: The new album features a new man behind the drum kit. Why do you find maintaining a stable line-up difficult?
DAVE INGRAM: It’s embarrassing for us. When our former drummer, Paul, joined he was supposedly enthusiastic. When he quit we thanked him for letting us and the fans down. He told us that he doesn’t give a shit about the fans. His favourite band was Foreigner anyway! Now we have Neil, who at nineteen, is fresh and a big help for us.
ALI “THE METALLIAN”: The last time I heard such enthusiasm regarding a young drummer was from Bolt Thrower. However, I have since heard that the drummer has proven to be a disappointment.
DAVE INGRAM: We’ve heard that too. But Neil has already proven himself. He can cut it.
ALI “THE METALLIAN”: I recently asked Fred Estby of Dismember to give me their side of the scuffle involving your bands. What is your side of the story?
DAVE INGRAM: Two weeks before we were going to tour with them they call and make demands like double-headlining et cetra. We explained that they can’t have everything they want. We had organized the tour, paid for the bus, posters et cetra. Then they said they would not do it; we were left with a big bill. We were angry and there was a scuffle when we ran into them in Denmark. It’s all sorted out now.
This interview initially appeared in Pit Magazine No. 15.