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CD REVIEW: THE V – Now Or Never

| 30 June 2015 | Reply

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Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release Date: July 3, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Benedictum lead singer Veronica Freeman has stepped out of the shadows of a band and put together a collection of songs that allow her to play her music, her way, and without apologies.  “Again” starts off like most songs in Freeman’s catalog, but the vocals soon shift gears and give this more of a hard rock/melodic feel that her typical heavy metal fare.  Title track “Now Or Never” kicks off with heavy bass and drums, but soon morphs into a cool melodic rock based track with searing leads and riffs that accompany Veronica’s rocking vocals.  “L.O.V.E.” is one of the tracks that take on a different sound and feel compared to others on the disc.  The vocals really stand out, especially when the chorus comes in.  The drums are solid on this track, as are the guitar riffs.  “Love Should Be To Blame” chugs along and gives the disc an edgier sound and feel.  The lower range of Veronica’s vocals in the chorus give her a sultry vibe that adds to the delivery of the emotionally charged lyrics.  “Spellbound” takes on a darker, less produced sound that is very reminiscent of early 80’s recording from labels like Metal Blade artists like Betsy.  The bottom end is full and adds punch to the track.  “Below Zero” has a heavy bass line that runs through it, even when the guitars are lighter and the vocals are charging from verse to chorus and back.  The different bassists featured on the disc include Jeff Pilson, Mel Brown, Garry Bordonaro, Aric Avina, John O’Boyle, and Mike Lepond.

“Roller Coaster” comes charging out of the gate and doesn’t let up from first note to the last.  The drums, played by Derek Kerswill on the entire disc, keep the track anchored and the tempo steady.  “Line In The Sand” is a melodic gem that stands out on this disc.  The guitars soar and build the mood of the track and allow Freeman to run rampant with some of the best vocals on the disc.  “Kiss My Lips” is one of the best tracks on the disc, as it is totally upbeat and full of rock energy.  The guitars are full, the drums pounding, and the bass strong and steady.  Throw in a cool duet between Veronica and Chastain lead vocalist Leather Leone and you have a killer song!  Freeman utilized several guitarists to put this disc together, including Pete Wells, Michael Sweet ,Peter Tentindo, Jimmy Durkin, Mick Tucker, Jordan Ziff, and Michael Harris.  “Starshine” shifts the mood and vibe of the disc with a lighter rock track that moves further from Freeman’s comfort zone, but allows her vocals to take the spotlight and run.  The acoustic guitars and additional vocals from Meliesa McDonell give the song a little something extra at the chorus.  “Ready To Run” opens up like Motley’s “Wild Side,” but soon takes its own lead and direction, giving Freeman room to show off her vocals in a hard rock / melodic twist that gives the song a little depth.  Disc closer “King For A Day” features a heavier and bluesier groove that carries the track while Veronica and Tony Martin trade off verses and duet at the chorus.

Tracklisting: Again – Now Or Never – Roller Coaster – L.O.V.E. – Line In The Sand – Love Should Be To Blame – Kiss My Lips – Spellbound – Starshine – Below Zero – Ready To Run – King For A Day

THE V (VERONICA FREEMAN) LINKS:

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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