BENEDICTUM - DOMINION
2nd February 2011
Female fronted metal bands are surely the phenomenon in 'our kind of music' of the last decade; so much so entire record labels have been formed purely to release 'product' of this nature, so what, if anything, seperates Benedictum from this sea of general pulchritude?
Not much, as it goes. Benedictum are a bunch of US veterans (you know what I mean by that, right?) dedicated to upholding the values of traditional metal, whilst still acknowledging that it's 2011. To this end, what you, the end user, receives is a sleek, well oiled production (supplied by former Dokken bassman Jeff Pilson) that pushes the guitars of Pete Wells to the max whilst still adding enough bleeps and processed beats to keep the interest of the young people piqued throughout the album.
Pride of place, of course, goes to vocalist Veronica Freeman, and it's her sandpapery growl that keeps things interesting through even the most workaday material (of which there is a fair amount it has to be said). They save the best till last – Epsilon is an excellent slab of icily efficient space metal that really rewards anyone who's managed to get through the rest of the sturm und drang, whilst lucky owners of copies of Dominion with the bonus track Sanctuary on it will be counting themselves truly fortunate, because that song, which somehow brings to mind Uriah Heep at their very best, may well be yet the best thing this band ever record. Seek it out.