Friday, January 28, 2011

BENEDICTUM: "Dominium"

Rating: 5/10

Label: Frontiers 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

These days it makes a nice change to get an American metal band to review, as Europe seems to be taking over the world metal scene (and deservedly so). Benedictum, fronted by the memorable Veronica Freeman, are giving it their best with this, their third album.

Having seen them once, I pretty much expected an album of powerful heavy metal, and this is what Benedictum deliver, with no real frills or pretension. Freeman has a good voice, although certainly not (as has been said somewhere) 'One of the truly most extraordinary voices in metal'. She does the job without resorting to gutteral grunting, and can hold a tune, so that's enough for now. Musically, Benedictum chuck out some very heavy songs with enough melody to keep the more casual rock fan interested. This isn't full on facemelting metal, and if you like well structured songs with big ass riffs and pounding drums there's something here that may get your head banging, but don't get too excited. The thing is, "Dominion" can be a real slog to listen to, as it's all rather samey and often uninspiring. I've bene listening to it for what seems an age, and find it hard to get through more than half of the album without my mind wandering.

Benedictum certainly have a market out there, as it's rare to find such a competent female fronted heavy metal band that doesn't resort to gimmicks or are just plain crap. In the end, it's just not my sort of thing, I suppose, so if you're even a bit curious give them a listen and make up your own mind.


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