On their third release Dominion, American heavy metal band Benedictum continues to evolve and perfect their version of classic heavy metal. Benedictum continues with powerful vocalist Veronica Freeman (think Grace Slick gone Dio) and exceptional guitarist Peter Wells. New additions include Chris Shrum on bass, Mike Pannone on drums and Tony Diaz on keyboards; production has passed from Dio bassist Jeff Pilson (although he guests here) to Ryan Greene (Megadeth, F5, MXPX, NOFX). Craig Goldy, who gave Benedictum their first push, guests once more with Rudy Sarzo also dropping in on Bang.
If you're a fan or merel followed their career, you will find Dominion to be everything you expect from Benedictum. You'll find the heavy and assertiveness of classic metal within At the Gates, Prodigal Son, or the title track. Songs like Dark Heart and The Seer are pure resurrections, and refreshing at that, old school metal. Possibly to old school for the idiots weaned on modern metalcore. Yet, Bang has true moden metal feel, but disguises the fact that real metal can really rock. It's one for both toe-tapping and head-banging. Ms. Freeman unleashes her well known and expected versatility across the disc with a pure aggressive metal spirit on Dominion to lucent melodic metal on The Shadowlands.
Perhaps the most interesting and ambitious part of Benedictum's Dominion is their venture into honest epic melodic heavy metal. Epsilon bristles with inspiration, energy, and creativity: every player shines brightly, and there's never a dull moment. It's expansive and impressive: more of this please! Then Benedictum covers Overture/Temples of Syrinx from Rush's 2112. I can't recall any band having the balls or the talent to cover a Rush song, let alone put it on record for all to hear. But Benedictum pulls it off with style. Holy sh*t!
Benedictum continues to progress and grow on Dominion: this is fundamental, inspiring, and entertaining classic American heavy metal. Get this one. Now!