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
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