Heavy metal dudes and fools! Prepare to kneel down in obedience. Benedictum returns with the fourth album, expecting you to Obey. Yet the new album comes with some changes and also revisits earlier albums. The band introduces to new members with drummer Rikard Stjernquist (Jag Panzer) and bassist Aric Avina (ex-Tynator). Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner), who produced the first two Benedictum, returns to the nobs for this one.
What has not changed one iota is Benedictum's commitment to classic American heavy and power metal. The character of their metal has always had a heavy and dark feeling due mostly to the lyrical content, deep rhythm section, and Peter Well's thick, working class, riffage. Yet these things are balanced by Benedictum's natural bent to weave melody and harmony into each song.
Then, of course, there's vocalist Veronica Freeman's vocals which can range from somberness as on Cry (featuring Tony Martin (Black Sabbath ,et al)) to raging metal as on the title cut or Scream. That last song is a good example of where Freeman's vocals are on point becoming the pivot on which everything turns. Another is Evil That We Do, where the vocal arrangement has a choral quality. It's also a song where Benedictum brings more rock groove and general catchy accessibiliity.
Otherwise, Obey is pretty much straight American heavy metal from the start to finish. Most time the pace is swift as with Apex Nation or Fracture; sometimes more moderate as with Die to Love You, likely my least favorite song here, and the finishing longer epic feel of Retrograde. Fundamentally, it you liked everything about their previous releases, especially the first two, you'll dig Obey and should add it to your collection. If you expected something more novel or progressive, rather than constant, then you'll be disappointed. Recommended to 'true metal' dudes everywhere.
Benedictum returns with another album of their convincing and entertaining classic American heavy and power metal. Recommended.
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