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Benedictum - Dominion

Published February 24 2011

=Staff's pick

At The Gates
Grind It
Prodigal Son
The Shadowlands
Beautiful Pain
Dark Heart
Loud Silence
Overture/Temple Of Syrinx

Genre Heavy Metal
Veronica Freeman
Tracks 13
Pete Wells
Runningtime 63 Min.
Label Frontiers Records
Chris Shrum
Release 18 February 2011
Mikey Pannone
Country USA
Tony Diaz
Producer Ryan Greene    
Similar artists ---

After two good albums released, Uncreation (2006) and Seasons Of Tragedy (2008), american band Benedictum did not draw much attention to themselves, at least not here in Europe, and it has been very quiet around them for a few years, which in recent interviews has been stated to have its explanation in major problems with record labels, management and member changes, but now they are back with their third album. The one people say is the hardest one in the early stage of a band's career, and they sure are walking on thin ice here.

Apparantly, Benedictum was not satisfied with their pretty straight forward and catchy heavy metal and are now eager to experiment and broadening their horizons. Personally I don't think the result is satisfying on any level. There are a handful of catchy riffs to be found on this album but that is pretty much it.

It's more dark and suggestive than before, and also quite progressive which makes me feel there is a great lack of melodies. Not one song has a really distinct, memorable or catchy chorus apart from Bang, guested by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and Rudy Sarzo. It's clear that they want to develop and take things in other directions than before but I am just not clear over what exactly they want to accomplish.

Veronica Freeman sings even darker and thicker than before on this album and it really does the music justice. She has a marvellous and powerful voice but that is really the only asset of the album.

If you previously have felt that Benedictum could use a darker and more progressive approach, and have wanted them to cut down on melodies, then this album might be for you. Otherwise I would approach this album with caution. I have spun it a dozen times by now and still I can't remember one single song, and I get quite bored ten minutes into it.

See also review of: Seasons Of Tragedy
See also: interview with Veronica Freeman








3,5 chalices of 10 - Tommy

I agree that their sophomore effort 'Seasons Of Tragedy' is their best effort, and this album is a step back; however, the haunting presence of Benedictum equally abides and resonates. When you listen to songs such as "Prodigal Son" or "Seer", you will see. Veronica's voice is eerie, yet soothing, the drums are punishing, and the guitar parts are both atmospheric, and yet traditionally melodic. Any fan of the band will appreciate the music, and in the true Benedictum fashion, we are treated to another cover as she channels Geddy Lee on the bonus track version of "Overture/Temples Of Syrinx". //MettleAngel (7 of 10)

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