3. Boot Hill
4. Truth Teller
5. No Man’s Land
6. The Art Of Demolition
7. Stoned To Death
8. Guilt And Redemption
9. Purple Haze
11. Into The Same River
When I first heard that Frontiers Records signed Benedictum, I was pretty surprised. I have listened to their first two CD’s Uncreation and Seasons of Tragedy and knew that this was a really heavy band.
Kudos to Frontiers Records for stepping out of their Melodic Rock comfort zone for releasing one of better metal CD’s of 2011.
The über sexy Veronica Freeman is one of the most amazing female vocalists I have ever heard. She can scream, growl, and sing in a way that is so impressive, it blows my mind that Benedictum isn’t much higher in the food chain of heavy metal. Guitarist Pete Wells may be Freeman’s metal equal. His playing on Dominion is nothing short of amazing. He is one of the unsung heroes of heavy metal, and Dominion should change that.
On Benedictum’s third effort, Dominion, the band doesn’t hold back any punches, and delivers one super tight metal album, filled with songs deserved to be played at maxium volume. Benedictum has obviously caught the eye of many hard rock veterans, as Dominion features guest apperances from Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and Rudy Sarzo!
The title track “Dominion” is a heavy face melter, that just blows my mind when I hear it. Freeman’s voice is at such a low register, I had to make sure it was still her that was signing.
“At the Gates” pummels you with its heavy bass drumming of Mike Pannone, and absolutely kills you with the awesome lyrical delivery from Veronica Freeman. You can’t listen to “At the Gates” without banging your head!
“Grind It” is one of the shorter numbers on Dominion, and yet, when I hear Freeman growl in her lower register, it send shivers down my spine, and puts a big METAL smile on my face. Awesome!
You can practically hear the influence of Ronnie James Dio in Freeman’s delivery of “Prodigal Son”. This is another heavy and cool tune!
The fantastic fretwork of Pete Wells matched with the keyboards of Tony Diaz on the brief instrumental “Beautiful Pain” reminded me a lot of Whitesnake, and left me salivating for more songs in this fashion. This song serves a cool intro the rockin’ tune “Dark Heart”.
“Bang” is a fist pumping, metal anthem that will get a ton of replay from this metalhead! This is the biggest metal anthem of 2011!
Benedictum slows it down for the acoustic number “Sanctuary”. This song while not a heavy tune, would sound great on radio. It is a shame that there aren’t many DJ’s out there with the balls to play it.
Benedictum has included some impressive covers on their first two CD’s, and Dominion is no exception. The cover of “Overture/Temple Of The Syrinx” from Rush’s 2112 shocked me as to just how good it it. This song closes out Dominion in fine metal fashion.
If Benedictum keep releasing albums as impressive as Dominion, they are going to conquer the world of heavy metal. If you are a metal fan, get this CD, and play it loud!! It gets better with every listen! Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
2. At the Gates
4. Grind It
5. Prodigal Son
6. The Shadowlands
7. Beautiful Pain
8. Dark Heart
10. Loud Silence
13. Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
Veronica Freeman – Vocals
Pete Wells – Guitars
Mike Pannone – Drums
Chris Shrum – Bass
Tony Diaz – Keyboards
Aussie rockers Strange Karma released their debut effort Volume 1 on February 15th, 2011. The side story about Volume 1 is this CD was recorded in 2007. The band had a few failed contracts which delayed the release of this CD. Volume 1 finally got its proper release via FNA Records earlier this year. Kudos to FNA Records, as Brothers Paul and Martin Stage have joined forces to record one hell of a cool record.
The opening rocker “America” reminds me of a heavy Jane’s Addiction tune. This is a powerful tune to start the album off with. This song is going to get a ton or plays from this listener.
Martin Strange has such a terrific voice. He makes songs like “Down and Out” such a joy to listen to. This song gets better with every listen.
“Time” is a piano based number that is just an incredible listen. It has been quite a while since I have heard a song composition as strong as this one. This song is absolutely terrific, and is one of my favorites on Volume 1.
There are parts of the song “Fame” where Martin Strange’s voice reminds me of Kingdom Come’s Lenny Wolf. This song has a lot of tempo changes which makes it one interesting listen.
“Storm” has a very Zeppelin-esque feel to it. When Martin Strange busts out those coarse screams, you can almost hear Robert Plant coming out of your speakers.
The second half of Volume 1 has some more cool surprises including the acoustic guitar flavored “Uneasy”, the hard rockin’ “Mind Games”, and the epic album closer “Indian Sun”.
I have enjoyed Volume 1 from Strange Karma immensely. Volume 1 was a pleasant surprise for my ears. With music this good, Strange Karma’s Volume 1 could easily crack my best of 2011 list. I can’t wait to see what is next from this cool band! Don’t miss this!!
You can purchase your own copy of Strange Karma’s Volume 1 at the FNA Records webstore.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Down And Out
6. Harder Than A Stone
8. Young And Free
9. Mind Games
10. Indian Sun
Strange Karma is:
Martin Strange – Lead Vocals, Piano, Guitar;
Paul Strange – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals;
Jason McDonald – DW Drums;
Doe Prijono – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals;
Check out the clip “So Unkind” from UK rockers, Voodoo Vegas!