Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Label: Frontiers 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
If you’re an avid collector of everything released by Frontiers, this is one album that you might want to listen before purchasing. It’s very different from the label’s usual melodic hard rock and AOR stuff. Benedictum are a female-fronted heavy metal band and they are not even flirting with AOR. Okay, they’re not as extreme as, say, Arch Enemy, but they’re still pretty damn heavy and uncompromising. The first impression I got was ”Judas Priest with a female vocalist”, and I’m still sticking to that.
Vocalist Veronica Freeman is quite impressive, she belts out the songs with passion and the rest of the band back her up competently. The problem lies within the songs - apart from a couple of exceptions, they are just too forgettable. There are too many choruses which are based on simple, monotonic phrases screamed out loud.
Interestingly, both of the album’s standout tracks feature guests. ”Cry” is a duet between Freeman and Tony Martin of Black Sabbath fame, and it’s a very good balladic track with both of the singers doing a fine job. Right next to it in the tracklisting is ”Thornz”, which features A Sound Of Thunder vocalist Nina Osegueda sharing the vocals with Freeman. It’s a more of an uptempo track with catchy guitar work and a decent chorus hook. Unfortunately the rest of the album doesn’t appeal to me, hence the low rating. However, if a ”Painkiller”-era Priest with aggressive female vocals sounds appealing to you, do give this album a try. And ”Obey”!