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“Seasons Of Tragedy” by Benedictum

Artist: Benedictum
Title: “Seasons Of Tragedy”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 3/4/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

Having enjoyed their debut “Uncreation” so much I was eager to see how San Diego’s Benedictum would do with their sophomore release and I am happy to report that “Seasons Of Tragedy” stands proud on its own and finds the band proving themselves a great Metal force as tune after tune thunders by. The band is led by Veronica Freeman and she is nothing less than impressive. Her vocal style doesn’t follow the day’s trend of being either Operatic, Symphonic or Death Growling but instead seems to bring us back to a more traditional Metal singer who uses elements of each discipline as needed. Either way she can belt them out and comes off as a powerhouse on every song on the album. Musically this one is perhaps even a little stronger than the debut and perhaps this is based on the band growing into one another a little more and feeling much more confident at the task. Of course the first album rocked but with “Seasons Of Tragedy” they have effectively kicked it up a notch and it all begins with a mood-setting instrumental called “Dawn Of Seasons”. The band jumps into gear with “Shell Shock” and this is a really great opening tune since it grabs you by the throat and you can almost feel how the band does this one live since you cant help but find yourself head banging to it. Pete Wells sounds even better on this one with a number of blazing leads and trudging groove-laden riffs and does great work on tracks like “Within The Solace” and “Legacy”. Having found myself enjoying most of the tracks it was a little tricky to decide on a mere two. Completing the lineup we have Jesse Wright on bass and Paul Courtois on drums. A perfect rhythm section for this type of Metal as they hold the bottom end down and occasionally demonstrate enough of the necessary flair to brighten up a track a little more. The band is very in your face and not only finds producer Jeff Pilson once again offering up some bass guitar, but we also find George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob) and Manni Schmidt (Grave Digger) on the tracks “Bare Bones” and “Burn It Out” respectively.
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