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Benedictum - "Dominion" (CD)

Benedictum - "Dominion" CD cover image

"Dominion" track listing:

1. Dominion
2. At The Gates
3. Seer
4. Grind It
5. Prodigal Son
6. The Shadowlands
7. Beautiful Pain
8. Dark Heart
9. Bang
10. Loud Silence
11. Epsilon
12. Sanctuary (bonus track)
13. Overture/Temple Of Syrinx (bonus track)

Reviewed by on June 16, 2011

"Citing both Ronnie James Dio and Tina Turner as influences, Benedictum singer Veronica Freeman manages a unique feat of vocal alchemy in combining those disparate sounds on 'Dominion.' "

Citing both Ronnie James Dio and Tina Turner as influences, Benedictum singer Veronica Freeman manages a unique feat of vocal alchemy in combining those disparate sounds on "Dominion." This is some power metal that doesn't skimp on the power.

Freeman's not afraid to mix a few growls in with the soaring melodies of songs like "The Seer." Even when she is singing softly, like in the opening of "Dark Heart," her voice loses none of its power. "Loud Silence" is perhaps Freeman's most conventionally "pretty" performance, while "Grind It" has her growling and shouting with the best of them.

Guitarist Pete Wells shreds his way to glory on "Loud Silence" and the super-speedy "Prodigal Son." His instrumental "Beautiful Pain" is another highlight of the album.

The band invited several guest artists — all of whom previously played with Dio. Freeman's longtime friend, guitarist Craig Goldy provides an excellent solo on "Epsilon," while Rudy Sarzo plays bass on "Bang" and Jeff Pilson provides some gentle acoustic guitar on "Sanctuary."

The album does feel a bit on the long side, with the bonus track "Overture/Temple Of Syrinx" feeling a bit extraneous, despite some great guitar work. There are also a few moments on "Shadowlands" when Freeman's vocals go into over-the-top territory.

If you're looking for power metal in the Dio mode, complete with soaring vocals and shredding guitar solos, Benedictum's "Dominion" fills the bill nicely.

Highs: "Dominion," "Loud Silence" and "Sanctuary"

Lows: The disc goes on a bit too long.

Bottom line: An excellent disc that puts the "power" in power metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)