Friday, November 15, 2013


Frontiers Records

Due for release at the tail end of November, and once again produced by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio and surprisingly even Foreigner!), "Obey" is the forth studio-album from Veronica Freeman and Benedictum. It's also another prime example of why this San Diego, California-based traditional heavy metal act deserves their fine standing in the rank and file of U.S. metal acts and why, despite the mixed reactions to the group's last studio-album, 2011's "Dominion" (which I liked and gave a positive review to as can be seen at the link below), you just can't count out a group like this! With "Obey" it's easy enough to look past Benedictum's last album as, simply put, this group, which was formed back in 2005, is solid gold when it comes to true heavy metal. When you're talking about a band that blends the likes of Judas Priest, Warrior, Dio, Warlock (Veronica Freeman occasional even sounds like Doro which is a really good thing folks!), Rainbow and Savatage into one great package and also features a stunning lead vocalist with a powerful set of lungs in Veronica Freeman, Benedictum proves to be far too good to be ignored! On "Obey" Veronica 'The V' Freeman and superb guitarist Pete Wells are now joined by bass player Aric Avina (formerly of Tynator) and well-traveled/seasoned veteran (and all around cool drummer!) Rikard Stjernquist (Body of Scars, Ballistic, ex-Jag Panzer, ex-Karen Kenedy and ex-Sargon). Additionally you have keyboardist Tony Diaz and "Obey" features guest appearances by Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath/Cage) and A Sound Of Thunder's lead vocalist vocalist Nina Osegueda. That cut, "Thornz", finds the two equally gorgeous vocalists converging on one sweet cut and, along with the opening number, "Dream Of The Banshee", the title cut "Obey", "Scream" and many others, shows off a band that knows what works best and how to go for broke when the time calls for it! Both "Crossing Over" and the cut which features guest musician Tony Martin, "Cry", show Veronica's range and prove that she is so much more then just a metal goddess!  While those cuts show the softer side of Veronica the tracks "Dream Of The Banshee", "Scream" and "Fractured" deliver powerhouse vocals with Benedictum's stunning lead singer coming across as a little Leather Leone in nature as well as someone who could still be could be Udo Dirkschneider's long lost sister (see my review of "Dominion" for that reference point!). At just about 50 minutes in length, and covering a carp-load of ground from the 80's metal-inspired opener "Dream Of The Banshee" to the Mötley Crüe-like "Apex Nation",  "Obey" is a fun album that is easy to enjoy and never feels as if it's over staying it's welcome. While many question whether the move to Frontier Records would be wise for Benedictum when it comes to "Obey" all signs point toward a band that knows what it's doing and where it wants to go. In the end "Obey" is simple metal in the sense that it's more classic sounding then modern and it's fashioned in such a way that it plays to the strengths of real heavy metal (from glass-shattering lead vocals to shred the dead lead guitar solos) without seeming overly cheesy or as if the band is trying too hard. This is a good album from a good band and one release that I'll be looking to add to my personal CD collection! 

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Anonymous txGreg said...

I'm so looking forward to this one. Their first album is probably their weakest, and it's still one of my favorite albums. This band simply rocks. All of their albums have a permanent home in my music collection.

9:09 AM  

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