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Benedictum: Uncreation

One seldom thinks of San Diego when it comes to powers of the Metal elite but when you hear the music offered by Benedictum you will know that the area has officially tossed its hat into the mix. Fronted by Veronica Freeman this is a band that is bound to cause quite the stir. Today's Metal music finds a lot of powerful female lead singers fronting some of the best bands around; Nightwish, After Forever, Lacuna Coil and Arch Enemy all remind us of how much of a compliment to the music a female presence offers. Yet rather than fall into the same model as the above I am happy to report the difference that Benedictum gives the listener, instead of Operatic, Gothic or growls Veronica possesses a veritable Banshees wail. Her powerful lungs make her hold more in common with the likes of Doro, or even Ronnie James Dio himself. It's a fine contrast to what people have come to expect in the role that normally has been fronting these kind of bands. The musicians in Benedictum are equally adept with Pete Wells (lead guitar), Blackie Sanchez (drums), Chris Morgan (keyboards) and Jeff Pilson (bass). Wells does some dynamite stuff on the guitar and shows that the band is not merely backup to Ms. Freeman but instead a full unit that is out to break down some walls. Sanchez's drumming is dead on and while not over technical he pounds it out like thunder through the bands debut. It goes without saying that Pilson is an industry veteran in terms of Melodic Hard Rock from his years of Dokken performance, and this album brings him back to playing a heavier style much like the way he originally started out. He also is the Producer of the album and this shows in the overall quality level of the recording.

I had a number of favorites from the release starting with title track "Benedictum" and "Wicca", these are true head bangers and are sure to please fans of this type of traditional based Metal. On top of their solid original material there is an added treat in the two covers provided which are Black Sabbath and Dio (the Sabbath song being from the Dio years as well) and I was floored by how close Ms. Freeman gets to the Dio vocal register. The band has a very live sound to them and I am sure this is only the beginning of something cool. Check them out if you can.

Track List
1. Uncreation
2. Benedictum
3. #4
4. Misogyny
5. Ashes To Ashes
6. Wicca
7. Heaven And Hell
8. Them
9. Two Steps To The Sun
10. Valkyrie Rising
11. The Mob Rules

Added: April 25th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4870
Language: english

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