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Benedictum - 2005 Uncreation

ARTIST: Benedictum
ALBUM: Uncreation
LABEL: Locomotive Records
YEAR: 2005


LINEUP: Veronica Freeman - vocals * Pete Wells - guitars * Chris Morgan - keyboards * Jesse Wright - bass * Blackie Sanchez - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Uncreation * 02 Benedictum * 03 4 * 04 Misogyny * 05 Ashes To Ashes * 06 Wicca * 07 Heaven And Hell * 08 Them * 09 Two Steps To The Sun * 10 Valkyrie Rising * 11 The Mob Rules



Woah! Hold the phone. It's true. I've heard it for myself. Heavy Metal now has a new reigning queen. Forget all previous wannabes. Chuck out Doro Pesch, Tarja Turunen and all those European operatic drama queens, and all who have gone before. As good as some of those ladies might be, they will get absolutely trashed if they pitch themselves against the power that is Benedictum's Veronica Freeman. This gal could stop a ten-ton truck in her wake, an absolute monstrous voice that'll have the average Joe Bloggs quaking in his shoes. Not only does she sound impressive, she looks impressive too. A Valkyrie Viking Queen on the warpath.. dont'cha just love it? Where has she been all our lives? So what do we know about this lot? Well, they are from San Diego, and lets not forget there are other members of this striking metal quintet. Guitarist Pete Wells can stand and flail with the best of them, his monster riffs are big on melody too. keyboardist Chris Morgan provides the colour, while drummer Blackie Sanchez and ex Cage bassist Jesse Wright provide the very robust back-end. Production chores fell to Jeff Pilson, and though Benedictum are a long way from where he's at now (i.e Foreigner), he has done an amazing job with this band. Benedictum rose from the ashes of Malady, and Freeman was also singing in a Dio tribute band, but the power of 'Uncreation' now puts them into a different league altogether. There is no turning back.

The Songs
Most of the material has been written by Freeman and Wells, and it's easy to suggest that there is a dark element to it, but in this genre we're not exactly singing about shining angels and golden halos are we now? 'Uncreation' the title track leads off with great intensity while Freeman's variety is best heard on the track 'Benedictum', where we get to hear a mix of her vocal style amid beastly growls. The band hit their straps on '#4', a song about life decisions and past mistakes. I wonder if Math teachers could convey the number 4 in such menacing fashion? The band dive even deeper with 'Misogyny', displaying another side to their sound that touches on prog metal. Things get real brutal on 'Ashes To Ashes' and 'Them'. This is metal played with such resounding conviction that a two fingered 'up you' would seem utterly tame. The power of 'Two Steps To The Sun' talks about the journey from the dark to the light, and is matched by 'Wicca', which explores power of the spiritual side. The epic piece on the album is 'Valkyrie Rising', an eight minute stretch that even the mythical 'Valkyrie Queen' would be proud of. Mind you, who better to represent the warrior vixen than Freeman. Making a guest appearance is ex Dio and Giuffria guitarist Craig Goldy, a good friend of the band and fellow San Diego resident. Talking of Dio, the band cover two tracks associated with Ronnie James.. both are Black Sabbath tracks 'Heaven And Hell' and 'Mob Rules', and damn good they are too.

In Summary
Who needs Linkin Park, P.O.D and has-beens like Manowar when you've got this lot bearing down on your tail? I reckon Locomotive Records should arrange for their passports, send them over to Europe and play some of these upcoming summer gigs. I'm sure Veronica could have some fun with the audiences over there, more so than in the lack-lustre metal scene back in the States. She could gobble them up and spit them out all in the space of one song. Be warned, this band will go places, probably the only exception to that rule being The Vatican.. lol.

Related Articles
Benedictum - 2005 Uncreation
Benedictum - 2008 Seasons Of Tragedy
Benedictum - 2011 Dominion

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