BENEDICTUM – Seasons Of Tragedy

BENEDICTUM - Seasons Of Tragedy
  • 9/10
    BENEDICTUM - Seasons Of Tragedy - 9/10


Locomotive Records
Release date: March 4, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It’s not every day that a Metal band from the United States deals out a strong sophomore release as well as achieving success … while being led by a female vocalist! This is exactly what San Diego, California-based Benedictum has accomplished with their second release, Seasons Of Tragedy! Some reviewers of the band’s 2006 initial offering were less than bowled over by its results, but rest assured, this second release more than compensates, as Seasons Of Tragedy is a fistful of quality Traditional Metal!

Following the formula of their 2006 debut, Jeff Pilson, bassist of Dio and Dokken fame, once again handles production on Seasons Of Tragedy. The end result is a tight, ballsy sound that accentuates the strengths of the band, namely Veronica Freeman’s vocals and the swath of the buzz saw guitar sound. On this second time around, Benedictum has set a precedence by including two cover tracks (one only available on the Euro-only Digipak) and making use of some prominent guest musicians in Grave Digger guitarist Manni Schmidt, guitarist George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, keyboardist Chris Morgan, and Dio guitarist Craig Goldy (who discovered the band).

The release starts out auspiciously with a short instrumental intro that would lead the listener to believe this is a “Prog Rock” album. All doubts are set aside when the second track, “Shell Shock,” comes thundering in at full throttle with it’s high speed Megadeth-ish feel, buzz saw guitar rhythm, and gang chorus! Right from the start, Freeman casts aside anyone’s fears or doubts about a “Female Metal Vocalist.” There are no “candy ass,” Symphonic, Goth vocals here as Freeman leads the modern day charge of female-fronted bands alongside such alums as Dani Nolden (Shadowside) and Sabina Classen (Holy Moses). Freeman can belt it out with the “big boys” and still leave room for an occasional, nice melodic touch that only a female’s voice can lend.

While all eleven tracks (or twelve on the Euro release) are strong tracks in their own right, there are several more accessible highlights, especially within the first half of the release. “Burn It Out” has a wonderful, double-bass-pumping tempo supplemented by a nice, slightly more melodic multi-tracked Freeman chorus. This track also has an entertaining guitar duel between Pete Wells and Manni Schmidt. “Bare Bones” has a slower, brontosaurus-type stomp to it and accomplishes having more of an Accept feel with the added bonus of some fine flange-sounding solos by George Lynch — not his best work, but certainly identifiable! “Within The Solace” has more riffage and double bass pumping goodness. Hats off to drummer Paul Courtois for his entire performance … he must have really burned some calories to record these tracks! “Nobodies Victim” is a juggernaut with its powerhouse riffing in the second, slightly weaker half of the release.

Covers-wise, the Benedictum rendition of Accept’s “Balls To The Walls” is more memorable than the Craig Goldy-assisted cover version of Rainbow’s “Catch The Rainbow” (Euro-only version). The Accept cover has more of a Benedictum touch added to it and in itself makes a lot of sense as the band exhibits throughout this entire album some of Accept’s “Balls To The Walls”-era riffing and chorus strengths.

Bottom line, if you’re a fan of Traditional Metal sounds, auras and energies of classic Megadeth and Accept, then Seasons Of Tragedy should be a no-brainer as a purchase. For all others it’s still recommended as a strong must buy, as this CD should certainly grace more than a few 2008 Top Ten Lists for Metal releases!


Veronica Freeman – Vocals
Pete Wells – Guitar
Jesse Wright – Bass
Paul Courtois – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.