Metal that your mum can listen to.
Benedictum's "Seasons of Tragedy" kicks off with an awesome intro reminding me a bit of Jean Michel Jarre, but combined with an acoustic guitar and an almost Spanish influenced classic feel; you can feel the build-up to a blast into some groovy metal. Disappointingly the production let me down with an abrupt finish and a standard song gap; however, 'Shell Shocked' kicks of with heavy fast drumming and a classic metal feel from the likes of early Dio or Sabath. This is very easy listening, radio friendly, stadium metal that triggers the good old automated head banging, but again the song finished too abruptly for me. The third track, 'Burn it Out', is a true biker song with a strong eighties metal feel to it. It kicks off with a motorbike starting up and you can imagine cruising on a Harley along Route 66, with this blasting in your ears.
The chugging guitar intro for 'Bare Bones' introduces the listener to a darker side of Benedictum. Vocalist, Veronica Freeman, sounds less like Dio and more goth. This is a great song and more dramatic than the other songs on the album so far. 'Within the Solace' is back to nice easy listening classic metal, and with some cool guitar riffs thrown in as good measure. The lyrics are very clearly pronounced and I think Benedictum could be a nice introduction to various metal subgenres for borderline, metal curious or future metalheads.
'Beast in the Field' starts with a nice and gentle piano intro then the wailing guitar slowly comes in, followed by some heavy drumming and a growl from Veronica, only to accelerate and develop into a Maiden-like classic tune, with lyrics such as "there's a beast in the field...better run little children...the night time is falling.."
The rest of the album follows the same trend with radio friendly, stadium filling, head bopping, classic metal; sometimes dipping a toe into some electro sampling and experimental keyboard playing.
All and all this is a very enjoyable metal album. What is quite amazing about Benedictum is that they deliver solid metal tunes but all with easy, radio friendly, clean vocals. It is easy listening metal and as I've said, a good introduction to metal for your mum, girlfriend or little sister. I feel that the production has let them down a bit with abruptly ending songs, specifically when the intro successfully built the expectation up for a nice loud, fast double pedalling bass drum or squealing guitar, only to be dumped into a standard song gap.
Think Iron Maiden, Dio and Black Sabbath, with a very slight AC/DC twist.