The Female Metal Valkyrie Veronica Freeman and her band Benedictum have been busy working during the past few months. A new Benedictum album is in the works and will be a complete return to a traditional but powerful feel – much like the band’s first 2 albums. Working with the band on the production is Grammy Award Nominee and Billboard charting producer, John Herrera and of course Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner). Jeff has already had one writing session with Benedictum and Veronica has just returned from her second writing session with Jeff Pilson this past week. Craig Goldy (Dio) has been writing with Benedictum as well and there will probably be some vocal duet surprises on the album too. The songwriting team of Pete Wells and Veronica Freeman is however still in full effect and with Rikard Stjernquist (Jag Panzer) adding to the mix there are some powerful great ideas coming to life.
But Veronica is also working to show another side of herself. In Veronica’s words: “I had a lot of input and encouragement from Frontiers in the previous months to try and stretch myself with different musical styles and approaches. So I have decided to accept their proposal for a solo album – which will be released under the moniker of” THE V“. Musically Veronica will be pursuing a much more melodic and hook-friendly direction. John Herrera will also produce this endeavor and there should be some special guests appearing in the writing and performing dept including a song from Jerry Dixon from Warrant and some bass performances from Brad Lang from Y&T as well as from Jeff Pilson and others to round out the talent that will be involved with this project. Pete Wells will also show his other side with some of the music he is contributing to this project.
Both new albums will be released in 2013 – Benedictum are really looking forward to also being able to perform in Europe in 2013 so lookout for Veronica’s talents both in Benedictum and with the V sometime soon! We all really hope you will enjoy all the music that is coming your way!
Benedictum are proud to announce their continued collaboration with Jeff Pilson on the development of their next release via Frontiers Records!!!!
The result will bring back the magic Benedictum and Jeff Pilson captured during their earlier releases from “Seasons of Tragedy” and their 2006 debut “Uncreation”.
This year and 2013 will be an exciting year for Benedictum with their recent addition of new drummer Rikard Stjernquist known for his exceptional talent in Jag Panzer for 25 years.
Jeff Pilson known for his extensive list of musicianship with legendary acts Dokken and Dio, while currently with Foreigner and producer for Adler’s Appetite.
Jeff Pilson states: “I’m very excited about producing the new Benedictum record. I’m very passionate about their music and love working with the band. V’s vocals, Pete’s guitars, the band’s energy and the songs are all something that are very close to my heart. This record will be their crowning achievement- of that I have no doubts!”
Benedictum was formed in 2005. After being noticed by Craig Goldy (Dio, Guiffria, Budgie) the wheels were set in motion and eventually lead to their debut CD “Uncreation”.
Coming soon will be more exciting news regarding their next release!!!!!!
Benedictum is Veronica Freeman (lead vocals), Pete Wells (lead guitar), Chris Shrum (bass) and Rikard Stjernquist (drums/percussion).
Benedictum discography includes “Uncreation”, “Seasons of Tragedy”, and “Dominion”.
Veronica Freeman: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736850320
Veronica Freeman: http://www.facebook.com/Benedictum.Official
Facebook Group Page: http://www.frontiers.i
Benedictum and The diabolical mistress “V” Veronica Freeman are proud to enlist new drummer Rikard Stjernquist to the team!!!!
Rikard Stjernquist started his career with Stockholm based Bronze Puppet. Rikard brings a multitude of talent from his longevity as the drummer for power metal legends Jag Panzer of 25 years and nine records to his studio production capabilities. Rikard will surely assist the team in writing new material for their next release with Frontiers Records worldwide.
Rikard Stjernquist states “I have been very fortunate in my long career to have recorded and performed with some exceptional people / musicians, and Benedictum is no exception. I’m very excited about the future with Benedictum and having the opportunity to perform for their amazing fans all over the world. Thank you Veronica Freeman, Pete Wells, and Chris Shrum for this amazing opportunity”
Benedictum played select US dates for the East Coast in late November 2011 in support of their current release “Dominion” out now on Frontiers Records. Everyone who attended the select dates got a a taste of what the European market already knew.
This year and 2013 will prove to be an exciting year for Benedictum with much more activity in the worldwide.
Coming soon will be more exciting news regarding their next release!!!!!!
Benedictum is Veronica Freeman (lead vocals), Pete Wells (lead guitar), Chris Shrum (bass) and Rikard Stjernquist (drums/percussion).
Benedictum discography includes “Ulceration”, “Seasons of Tragedy”, and “Dominion”.
BENEDICTUM & DESDEMON
Spread their wings for select US Dates!!!!
Benedictum & DesDemon team up for Path of the Valkyries tour to promote their recent studio releases.
Benedictum reign from Arizona, fronted by the diabolical mistress “V” Veronica Freeman. The band is known more in European markets and will finally showcase their talent in the U.S. with their current release “Dominion” via Frontiers Records. Previous releases include “Seasons of Tragedy” and “Uncreation”.
DesDemon hail from New York, fronted by new vixen Chelsea Knaack. Finally released their debut “Through the Gates” via Radtone Music Japan and will soon be available in all retail and on-line markets. DesDemon have been described as a new force in female fronted symphonic metal!!!!
See Benedictum and DesDemon on their Path of the Valkyries in the following cities.
November 10th – The Haven – Orlando/Altamonte Springs , FL
November 11th – The Pathfinder Metalfest 3 – Marietta, GA
November 12th – Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
November 17th – Metal Thursday @ Ralf’s Diner – Worcester, MA (with Joe Stump)
November 18th - Dublin Pub – New Hyde Park, NY (with HolyHell)
November 19th – Flight of the Valkyries Festival – Sonar – Baltimore, Maryland
Benedictum recently selected as the pick of the week on VH1 Classics “That Metal Show. “Dominion” is an exciting musical episode building upon their great foundation by adding Grammy Award winning producer Ryan Greene (Megadeth, F5, NOFX) and are firing on all cylinders. From the onslaught of the opening track Dominion to the epic Epsilon and the heartfelt acoustic track Sanctuary, this album has it all. Adding to the already explosive sound of “Dominion” are guest appearances by Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner), Craig Goldy (Rough Cutt, Dio, Giuffria) and Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quite Riot, Whitesnake).
DesDemon “Through the Gates” transcends you through dark majestic symphonic metal passages with supreme musicianship. “Through the Gates” has an impressive list of guests musicians from Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest, ex- Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Beyond Fear, Charred Walls of the Damned, Hell Yeah!), Amanda Somerville (Trillium, Avantasia, Somerville / Kiske, HDK, Epica), Sander Gommans (Trillium, After Forever, HDK) & Joe Stump (Holyhell, world renowned guitar virtuoso).
DesDemon and Benedictum individually have shared the stage with the likes of many international artists like Doro, Primal Fear, Tyr, Korpiklaani, Rotting Christ, Epicurean, Mantic Ritual, Paul DiAnno, Icarus Witch, and have graced the stage of several festivals throughout Europe.
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
BENEDICTUM – VERONICA FREEMAN – The third studio album “Dominion” from Benedictum was released on March 8th, 2011, on Frontiers Records. Any fan of this band knows that lead vocalist and founding member Veronica Freeman has a strong Hard Rock and Metal voice. What I didn’t know was just how positive, friendly and humorous Veronica’s personality really is. I found out for myself, upon our initial introduction, as to how proud and protective Veronica is towards her band’s name. Let me explain…
You see, this middle-aged Metalhead writer suffered either a senior moment or a brain burp. Take your pick. I called Veronica’s band “Benediction” and there was no turning back. Yes, I wanted to make my get-away, right as the last syllable of the incorrect band name leaped from my tongue. Too late for that. Veronica was all over me like a pissed off parochial school nun with a swinging ruler. After several apologies and excuses on my end, we both settled into mutual laughter about it all.
The laughter on my end continued, once Veronica informed me she was wearing her fuzzy slippers while doing this interview I laughed some more. My vision of Veronica Freeman will never be the same. Just kidding. I admire the vocals of Veronica equally as well as the Metal her band Benedictum plays. There was just one promise Veronica wanted me to keep… that was to tell the world I mispronounced her band name. I made good on it. I wouldn’t dare break a promise to Veronica Freeman. Her outgoing and yet playful personality made for a memorable interview. Here is what Veronica had to say:
HRH: Benedictum is carrying on where they left off with “Seasons Of Tragedy”. Do you feel like your on a speeding natural high with the completion of “Dominion”?
VERONICA: I think I’m on that everyday! I’ve done more interviews on this “Dominion” album than the last two albums combined. This album was like giving birth!
HRH: Benedictum blends so many styles together, with Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Thrash and Progressive too. What is the secret to having your band’s sound come across so fluid?
VERONICA: I don’t know, it’s secrets I can’t reveal! There is a lot of input from the other band members on “Dominion”. I’m open to input. If it’s too out of the realm, then I’ll back off. With new band members, we have a different feel too. We just create feel-good and passionate songs. It’s a culmination of influences too. When Pete and I write, we have a groove within our thoughts that just comes out!
HRH: Influences can and do define a vocalist. Are you comfortable knowing you are most likely an influence already to a young generation of girls?
VERONICA: Hey, I never heard that, name one girl!
HRH: Hard Rock and Metal is global and I’m certain you have younger girls looking up to you somewhere, whether it’s America or even out in the Middle East.
VERONICA: Okay, then I would probably be beyond honored if that was the case.
HRH: There are many bands out there, only not as many are fronted by a charismatic and talented female vocalist like yourself.
VERONICA: Thank you! Your absolutely right, there are so many bands out there, some good and some bad. I just hope they (female fans) get empowerment from my voice. I like my stuff to express myself, it’s almost cathartic to me. The lyrical content coming from the frustrated and jaded feelings of my past comes out in my songs. With my lyrics, I also like to express hope, something in which you need to keep going! I do want people to remember me. I’m just grateful! I do know a lot of people have more opportunity and less opportunity than me out there too.
HRH: What advice do you have for aspiring female vocalists of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal?
VERONICA: How about advice for all aspiring vocalists?
VERONICA: I’m all for empowerment, but I’ve always wanted to be stronger and want to bring it! I like to keep a certain standard. It’s a lot more acceptable now to have detractors. I would say don’t rely on the female “thing” and just be a good vocalist. I don’t want to work that angle with the female “thing”. Being a female vocalist in Metal, it’s not that unique or a novelty anymore. You have to make sure you have a mentor and learn how to gravitate and maneuver. Females in particular, be yourself and try not to get pigeonholed into that certain “thing”.
HRH: I admire your attitude and style, Veronica. Still, there are female fronted bands out there that sound carbon copy.
VERONICA: I know what you mean. When I hear certain bands, I’m like, wow, I want to sound angelic like that or growl like that. You can’t be afraid to be the unique creature you are. You must be true to what you are and what you do.
HRH: You do have your vocal uniqueness. You have a male tone about your voice.
VERONICA: I know I can have that real masculine tone, it goes with Metal! It’s therapy for me, to get out my inner angst when I’m singing. I can’t do that opera stuff, it’s just not me.
HRH: You cover Rush on “Dominion” with “Overture/Temples Of Syrnx” in a most admirable way. What more can be said about Rush other than they belong in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
VERONICA: Do you know how long I’ve been singing that song? All my life! It’s like a dream come true to cover this song! I wanted to do justice with it, Rush fans are very protective of their band.
HRH: I’m a lifetime Rush fan.
VERONICA: I’m glad to hear that, it means you’re not mindless! (laughs)
HRH: (laughs) Gee, thanks!
VERONICA: Rush influenced me and the way I write. I like those epic kind of songs that take you somewhere, to evoke something from me and gives me energy. It’s sonic stimulation!
HRH: Wow, sonic stimulation, that sounds good!
VERONICA: Doesn’t it? It could be a name for a band.
HRH: Well, it sounds like a Punk band with the word “sonic” it it.
VERONICA: Yeah, maybe. As for Rush in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? That should have happened a long time ago, it’s so obvious! I want to tell that place to get a clue!
HRH: What is the one key element that is missing in today’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal world that existed twenty five years ago?
VERONICA: I was just talking to somebody about this! The key is marketing. There’s no promotion on radio. Classic Rock radio stations has some rotation, but no new stuff is really mixed in to promote new bands. There are no teaser tracks from your favorite band’s new albums anymore, like there was years ago. There’s no avenue of mass promotion anymore. You have to go seek it out now, it’s out there, only you just have to find it!
HRH: If you could interview one Rock ‘n’ Roll legend, past or present, who would it be and why?
VERONICA: I had a chance to meet (the late) Ronnie James Dio. He was my largest influence. His energy was so amazing. It would have been fun to sit down and pick his brain and mindset as he wrote songs. I like knowing what inspired certain people, to find out what that flame is that ignited such incredible music to be written.
VERONICA: It’s been so great for Pete to finally receive some love from the fans and press. I feel he’s done his very best work on this new album. Pete is a lot of fun and a joy to be around. I get along with him so much! So many people never knew about us, now a whole new wave of people are starting to build around following our band. People are really checking out our first two albums.
HRH: How and when did you become friends with Craig Goldy?
VERONICA: I’ve known Craig forever. Way back in the day we became fast friends, we just started to hang out. It’s fun to be friends with someone as dedicated to the guitar as Craig is. We both have a saying, that we always liked to dream out loud together. We’ve always kept in contact no matter what.
HRH: You can ride a motorcycle, have you ever been to Orange County Choppers up in New York State?
VERONICA: No, I have not. I would love to go there though. I have my two web based businesses that are motorcycle related. They both involve selling motor and sport bike accessories. Fans and bike enthusiasts can visit Alienhelmets.com and Streetfightersinc.com. Because of my online bike accessory businesses, I can stay home and wear my fuzzy slippers! (laughs) I’ve got a pair of bear claw slippers too! (laughs)
HRH: (laughs) Okay, that sounds like a cool gig!
HRH: Any tour plans or festivals being planned for 2011?
VERONICA: I certainly hope so. I’m waiting for my booking agent. We would love to play the U.S. and love to play Europe.
HRH: If you had an infomercial airing at midnight, to sell “Dominion”, what would your power pitch be for this album?
VERONICA: Wait There’s more! For only nine ninety five, you too could have Classic Rock with a melodic and Progressive Metal twist!
HRH: Well done, Veronica! I’m buying!
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of BENEDICTUM anticipated third full length album entitled “Dominion” on February 18th in Europe and March 8th in North America.
Surging forward as they are driven by the powerful momentum of front woman Veronica Freeman – whose unique and powerful style has been called one of the truly most extraordinary voices in Metal – and the guitar pyrotechnics of writer and guitarist Pete Wells, the time has come for the world to be on notice. Benedictum is again upon us.
Formed in 2005 and quickly noticed by Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, the wheels were soon set in motion for their debut album “Uncreation”. The collaboration of producer Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner) and the musical works of vocalist Veronica Freeman and Pete Wells along with the talent of drummer Blackie Sanchez, bassist Jesse Wright and keyboardist Chris Morgan, “Uncreation” was released to great reviews. Benedictum was selected as one of the top bands to watch in 2006 by Classic Rock magazine and one of Rock Hard Germany’s top 50 albums for that year. Guest appearances included Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and Jimmy Bain.
The result of the second collaboration between Jeff Pilson and Benedictum was their 2008 release “Seasons of Tragedy” which evolved them into a Metal force which could not be denied. With Veronicas’ raw and powerful vocals, songs with memorable melodies and the magical talent of Pete Wells along with new drummer Paul Courtois and the guidance of Jeff Pilson, “Seasons of Tragedy” further solidified the fact that there was something quite special at work here. “Seasons of Tragedy” garnered more great reviews and were on many a list for top albums of 2008. Guest appearances again by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and also George Lynch who added his special flare to the track Bare Bones and the cover of Accept’s “Balls to the Wall”.
Their driving music and energetic shows allowed Benedictum to grace the stage of many festivals including Wacken, Gods of Metal, HRH and a tour with DORO.
Now ready for yet another amazing chapter, Benedictum are off on a new and exciting musical episode as they have signed a contract with Frontiers Records. Building upon their great foundation Benedictum has recruited Grammy Award winning producer Ryan Greene (Megadeth, F5, MXPX, NOFX) and are firing on all cylinders. With members Chris Shrum now on bass, Mike Pannone on drums and Tony Diaz on keyboards the new music promises to continue to expand the horizon for Benedictum and is sure to please current fans as well. From the onslaught of the opening track Dominion to the epic Epsilon and the heartfelt acoustic track Sanctuary, this album has it all. Adding to the already explosive sound of Dominion are guest appearances by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and none other than Rudy Sarzo on the fist pumping track Bang.
The album “Dominion” contains an absolute musical journey with powerful riffs, well thought out lyrics and truly amazing musicianship. Crank it up, give it a listen and you too will become a “Victim of Benedictum”!
“Dominion” tracklisting includes:
Dominion; At The Gates; Seer; Grind It; Prodigal Son; The Shadowlands; Beautiful Pain; Dark Heart; Bang; Loud Silence; Epsilon; Sanctuary (Bonus Track); Overture/The Temples of Syrinx (Bonus Track)
Weblinks: www.benedictum.net / www.myspace.com/benedictum / www.frontiers.it
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the signing of US Classic Heavy Metal band BENEDICTUM for the release of a brand new studio album in early 2011. Since 2005 Benedictum has been heralded as one of metal’s most exciting bands. Fronted by the awesome talent of Veronica Freeman, her raw and powerful vocals have been the driving force behind this international metal sensation.
This year proves to be a very intense and exhilarating time, as Benedictum are set to deliver their 3rd album of jaw dropping, head banging, female-fronted fury. After releasing two critically acclaimed albums (Seasons of Tragedy & Uncreation), produced by internationally renowned producer and bassist Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio & Foreigner), Benedictum is back to unleash their career defining release!
Benedictum is ready for the next step: with a new label behind them, they are currently working hard on the recording with Grammy Award winning producer Ryan Greene (Megadeth, F5, MXPX, NOFX). Benedictum is firing on all cylinders! Veronica is joined once again by lead guitarist extraordinaire, Pete Wells, bassist Chris Shrum, Tony Diaz on keyboards and drummer Mikey Pannone.
Benedictum’s success and legacy have been well documented and the band have already earned their place at the head of the power metal genre. “There is really a feeling of excitement in the air for us, the new material will be another level in our evolution as a band and we have a lot of confidence in our new label Frontiers Records and their willingness to stand with us on our journey!” states Veronica.