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Benedictum - Seasons Of Tragedy

Published February 02 2008

=Staff's pick

Dawn Of Seasons
Shell Shock*
Burn It Out
Bare Bones
Within The Solace
Beast In The Field*
Nobodies Victim
Balls To The Wall
Steel Rain
Seasons Of Tragedy*

Genre Heavy Metal
Veronica Freeman
Tracks 11
Pete Wells
Runningtime 59 Min.
Label Locomotive Records
Jesse Wright
Release 25 Jan. 2008
Paul Courtois
Country USA
Chris Morgan
Similar artists ---

The american band Benedictum return with another slab of classic metal, following up their pretty solid and successful Uncreation (2005). That was an album with some really classic heavy metal riffs in the vein of late '80s/early '90s and what made them stand out was quite a sense of melodies in all heaviness and of course the great vocals courtesy of barb wire-throatess Veronica Freeman. It is perhaps not a description that is fair or correct, but I would say Benedictum is a mix of american power metal (in its original meaning) and some Black Sabbath and similar early european bands.

The general style on this album is intact since Uncreation; classic, riff based heavy metal in a good tempo, with the great vocals in focus. They seem to have good ideas and a love for this style of metal but most songs seem to only reach the level of decency and averageness and never manage to rise above to something that stand out and catch my interest on a deeper level. It feels like a more streamlined album than its predecessor and played more on safety, so to speak, and some of the band's earlier character is missing.

The songs work best when they are uptempo with double bass drums and sharp riffing, and the opening two songs are really good and throughout the album there is a good flow but there are no real highlights on the album that I would pick out as great. On the other hand there are no real lows either, so that saves the album, even though Bare Bones and Steel Rain are dangerously close to be branded crappy. The closing title track is a long and epic one that deserves special attention and it rounds everything off in the best kind of way and makes you interested in what they might come up with next time.

It is a good album which should appeal to most fans of the genre, and especially current fans of the band, but it is a slight disappointment to me as a sequal to the even better album Uncreation. They have lost a bit of their bite and edge and I hope they will regain it for later albums. I sure hope to catch them live during the upcoming summer festival season, because Benedictum's music I am sure will work just splendidly live.

See also review of: Dominion








6 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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