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Benedictum | Obey

by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —

Benedictum ObeySan Diego based band Benedictum is gearing up for their fourth studio release Obey on Frontiers Records in North America on Dec. 3. Benedictum was first discovered by Dio guitarist Craig Goldy. He later referred the band to Jeff Pilson who produced their debut release. Jeff Pilson is back in the mix as producer and takes the band to the next level with this raw yet powerful and polished release.

Benedictum has a new line-up featuring Veronica Freeman on vocals, Pete Wells on guitar, drummer Rikard Stjernquist, and bassist Aric Avina. Opening track “Dream Of The Banshee” opens with strings, glass breaking, and a haunting vibe that gives way to the powerful “Fractured.” This song is blistering with the ferocious vocals of Veronica Freeman. “Scream” sets the album in high gear with the hard edge drumming of Rikard Stjernquist. Rikard really defines the tone of the album giving way to a more powerful thrashy undertone. Also the bass playing if Aric Avina is prevalent throughout the entire album with its funky thrash beats especially on the title track “Obey.”

Singer Veronica Freeman also goes to great length to showcase her vocal range on slower songs such as the beautiful “Crossing Over.” This song has a pop vibe with hauntingly beautiful lyrics. The power ballad “Cry” featuring Tony Martin shines. The song “Thornz” finds Veronica singing strongly on one of the most emotional tracks on the album. Producer Jeff Pilson did as great job of focusing on all the different vocal styles and ranges on this album. Veronica goes from the style of Doro to the pop sound of Vixen. Jeff surely brings out the melodic vibe of the band with an even balance of thrash. The last part of the CD has a Motley Crue tone with motorcycles blaring and that ‘80s vibe reigning on “Apex Nation.”

Genre: Metal

Veronica Freeman – Vocals
Pete Wells – Guitar
Rikard Stjernquist – Drums
Aric Avina – Bass

Track Listing:
l. Dream Of The Banshee
2. Fractured
3. Obey
4. Fighting For My Life
5. Scream
6. Evil That We Do
7. Crossing Over
8. Thornz
9. Die To Love You
10. Apex Nation
11. Retrograde

Label: Frontiers Records


Hardrock Haven Rating 8/10