Benedictum - Uncreation review
|Release date:||January 2006|
05. Ashes To Ashes
07. Heaven And Hell [Black Sabbath cover]
09. Two Steps To The Sun
10. Valkyrie Rising
11. The Mob Rules [Black Sabbath cover]
The first Metal Storm Awards I checked out were in 2006, and I remember them very well for discovering a few great bands, one of which was Benedictum. I don't follow the heavy metal scene so much, but Uncreation is definitely among the albums I like coming back to from time to time and one of the most impressive debuts, too.
The first thing one will notice on this album is the super-heavy, raw, and powerful voice of Veronica Freeman. Man, I had been listening to this record for a year thinking it was a man on vocals when I decided to visit Benedictum's website and check what the band was up to. Going to the members section I discovered the crushing voice belonged to a woman. My reaction was similar to a guy who said: "HOLY SHIT IT'S A HER!?!?!" after listening to the band's cover of "Heaven and Hell". Gosh, her voice is just perfect: you have the aggressive medium-range singing, the classic siren-like yells that Veronica delivers with such gusto, but also some more feminine utterance on "Mysogyny" and a few lines of "Valkyrie Rising." This is one of the voices one will recognize out of a thousand. Check their "The Mob Rules" cover if the one above was not enough.
The good thing is that although the vocals are definitely the main selling point of Benedictum, the guitar tone is fittingly overwhelming, bright, and full. The presence of keyboards also adds a special eerie flavor to the sound, which works on songs like "Ashes to Ashes" and serves the basic function of following the guitar or vocals and doing some simple arrangements. Overall their role is neither crucial nor very noticeable most of the time. It's still all about those guitars and vocals.
Uncreation is almost thoroughly consistent, and all songs carry nearly the same relentless assault of classic heavy metal, which has a good balance between mid-tempo and fast songs. While some people say this album should have been released 25 years earlier to make an impact, I am gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there, mmmk? Uncreation sounds pretty refreshing even five years after its release, and the reason is that good stuff always lasts: Paranoid still invokes fits of worship. Even if Benedictum's debut does not have such a long-lasting legacy, it should manage to get your head banging and legs tapping listen after listen. As far as I am concerned, that's what heavy metal is about, and Uncreation serves that function very well and even does a little more.
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