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Benedictum
Seasons of Tragedy
March 2008
Released: 2007, Locomotive Records/Sound Pollution
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Benedictum is back with a follow up to their debut album UNCREATION that was released in 2006. UNCREATION brought this San Diego group far, resulting in a tour with the German metal queen Doro following their debut’s release. The expectations for the band are huge, so now we’ll see if the band can repeat its success. Well-known guests like Manni Schmidt (Grave Digger), George Lynch (ex-Dokken), Craig Goldy (Dio) and Jeff Pilson (ex-Dokken) appear on the album, and Benedictum follows their old footsteps and continue to deliver straight-up modern heavy metal with tons of energy and attitude, all lead by Veronica Freeman’s hoarse lead vocals. Despite the fact that Benedictum plays modern heavy metal, there are a few dirty rock influences here and there but that only adds to the diversity of this album.

11 tracks are featured, one of which is a cover of “Balls to the Wall” by Accept; a great choice of a cover song for Freeman’s voice. SEASONS OF TRAGEDY is strong and solid all the way through and there are not many things that bother me about it. The weakest point of the album is the up-tempo ballad “Steel Rain” which is a pretty weak song where nothing much happens, though Freeman shows that she can sing more sensitive songs as well. The final song “Seasons of Tragedy” is over 10 minutes long and it’s a progressive piece with various twists and turns and numerous tempo changes. It’s a pretty boring tune and it doesn’t add anything to the album overall.

“Shellshock”, “Within the Solace”, “Beast in the Field” and “Nobodies Victim” are a few of the stronger songs and along with “Burn it Out”, “Bare Bones” and “Legacy” they set the bar for the rest of the album. Raw, honest metal is pumping out of my speakers when I put on SEASONS OF TRAGEDY and once you start the album there’s no return; this is a disc that really captures you and keeps you in its grip of metal and madness. I think they have honed their songwriting skills a great deal since the debut and I’d say that this album is even more solid than the previous. This band deserves to be bigger and get more success. Also, if you buy the limited edition of the album you’ll get a cover of the Rainbow classic “Catch the Rainbow” where Craig Goldy also appears.
Track Listing

1. Dawn of Seasons (intro)
2. Shell Shock
3. Burn it All
4. Bare Bones
5. Within the Solace
6. Beast in the Field
7. Legacy
8. Nobodies Victim
9. Balls to the Wall (cover)
10. Steel Rain
11. Seasons of Tragedy

Lineup

Veronica Freeman – lead vocals
Pete Wells – guitar
Jesse Wright – bass
Paul Courtoios - drums


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