Benedictum – Dominion

Over the last two years we have been witnessing a growing wave of bands from all over the whole globe with a strong devotion to the traditional and glorious sounds of the 80's. While some don’t sound more than an embarrassing and feeble imitation of what bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath had offered us in their golden age, others really nail it and capture the essence, authenticity and spirit of that time.
Fortunately, U.S. based quintet Benedictum fall into the latter category and presents us their third full-length record “Dominion”, a record that truly embodies the true essence of traditional heavy-metal without sounding cheesy or retro-obsessed.
“Dominion packs an impressive variety of hooky melodic riffs that move back and forth between dark overtones and gallant major chords, making the music not only extremely accessible, but also cleverly written. Guitarist Pete Wells is clearly a virtuoso musician, but rather than deviate into some show-off performances like some of his peers, Wells keeps things captivating and catchy, particularly on songs like “Dominion”, “At the Gates” and “Grind It”. Still there are plenty of flourished solos to be heard throughout the whole album, but even those moments don’t sound overplayed and fit the songs perfectly well. The rhythmic section comprised of Chris Shrum on bass and Mikey Pannone on drums is equally solid, locking in a stellar demonstration of power and intent.
Then there’s the voice of Veronica Freeman, forget all your Amy Lees, Tarja Turunenes and Sharon den Adeles, the lady has some really powerful and passionate vocal range, sounding like a female version of Ronnie James Dio.
If you’re a fan of true, powerful and traditional heavy-metal, you won’t be able to help but love this record. That’s guaranteed. (7.5/10)

Luca Niero

Label info:
For fans of: Dio, Judas Priest, Doro, Primal Fear