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Now Or Never
Released: 2015, Frontiers Records
Despite my initial cynicism of having leonine powerhouse, and Benedictum vocalist, Veronica Freeman signing hard rock/AOR (as is the point behind this project), I was still pretty excited to hear what her “solo” group, The V, would sound like. Freeman’s commanding vocals have always been a highlight and with The V she is backed by a hugely impressive cast of rock/metal luminaries (check out the list at right), so I was eager to hear NOW OR NEVER.
As expected, Freeman’s singing is as impressive as ever throughout this album. Admittedly, it is incredibly off-putting to hear her singing about love, loss, and relationships, but she pulls it off with ease. Musically, the first two songs, “Again” and the title track, are certainly more hard rock than metal, but both are solid, catchy tunes that show that this concept can work. Unfortunately the remainder of the album is comparatively weak, actually getting worse as you progress through the tracks (it bottoms out somewhere between “Kiss My Lips” and “Starshine”). Again, it’s not the style that is the problem, but the song writing just doesn’t hold up – this is average melodic hard rock.
NOW OR NEVER had a lot of potential but is ultimately let down by songs that can’t compete with the vocals. All of the individual performances are there, but beyond the first two cuts, it somehow doesn’t all come together. There’s still hope for The V, and I hope that the collective continues exploring this vein but sadly, this album leaves me underwhelmed.
2. Now or Never
3. Roller Coaster
5. Line in the Sand
6. Love Should Be to Blame
7. Kiss My Lips
10. Below Zero
11. Ready to Run
12. King for a Day
Veronica Freeman: Vocals
Leather Leone: Vocals on “Kiss My Lips”
Tony Martin: Vocals on “King for a Day”
Melissa McDonell: Vocals on “Starshine”, Acoustic Guitar
Pete Wells, Michael Sweet, Peter Tentindo, Jimmy Durkin, Mick Tucker, Jordan Ziff, Michael Harris: Guitar
Jeff Pilson, Mel Brown, Garry Bordonaro, Aric Avina, John O’Boyle, Mike Lepond: Bass
Derek Kerswill: Drums
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