Artist: Benedictum 
   Title: Obey
   Label: Frontiers Records

'Obey' is the fourth album from Californian Heavy Metallers Benedictum, the band led by the vocal might of Veronica Freeman and the guitars of Pete Wells, only this time round the pair are joined by new band members Rikard Stjernquist of Jag Panzer on drums and Tynator’s Aric Avina on bass, together they put the pedal to the metal with their rampaging new opus.  So take heed and ‘Obey’!

The album sees the return of Jeff Pilson as producer behind the desk, who handled their debut album 'Uncreation' back in 2005, and in turn sees the band return to the more aggressive edge of their first two albums, with Freeman delivering an awesomely monstrous vocal as always.

From the off the band take no prisoners, after the obligatory intro ‘Dreaming of The Banshee’, it's all systems go with the rampaging ‘Fractured’, led by Freeman’s towering vocals that deliver a really powerful blow, as she displays more angst than ever.

Next ups it’s the title track ‘Obey’, a real heads-down metaller that can only be described as punishing, mainly due to the thumping rhythm section of Avina and Stjernquist, who really have made their mark on not only this track, but the entire album.

The pounding METAL assault continues with the monstrous ‘Fighting For My Life’ and the storming ‘Scream’, both tracks bringing out the big guns from Freeman, then it's old school all the way the excellent ‘Evil That We Do’ and 'Crossing Over’.

But anyone familiar with Freeman’s vocals prowess knows she is more than capable of not just for the power driven metal, she does present a gentler side from time to time and this album features one of her finest vocals to date, as she duets with Tony Martin on my favourite track off the album ‘Cry’.

Another great vocal from Freeman comes on ‘Thornz’, as she mixes power and emotion in equal quantities on the this one, before the darker tones of ‘Die To Love You’, then it's pedal to the metal once more with ‘Apex Nation’.

The album closes with the seven minute epic ‘Retrograde’.  A powerful ender that has some elements of Iron Maiden mixed with a more hard core metal vibe.  A real barnstormer to round off what has to be the band's most solid release to date. 

Review by: Barry McMinn

Tracklisting:

1. Dream Of The Banshee 
2. Fractured
3. Obey
4. Fighting For My Life
5. Scream 
6. Evil That We Do
7. Crossing Over
8. Cry
9. Thornz
10. Die To Love You
11. Apex Nation
12. Retrograde

                   

 

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