Benedictum
Seasons of Tragedy


2.5
average

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
May 20th, 2008 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Somebody needs to remind Benedictum that the 1980's are over.

There's no doubt about it. If Benedictum would have released their debut album, Uncreation, twenty-five years ago it would have been huge. The album harkened back to the time period in which Black Sabbath Judas Priest and Motorhead were the bands of choice for metalheads, and the "Heaven and Hell" cover was particularly impressive. Modern production aside, however, Uncreation felt incredibly dated, and failed to sound like anything other than an 80's metal tribute album. Unfortunately, Seasons of Tragedy is hasn't quite rectified this problem, but it isn't a bad record by any means.

Admittedly, a lot of Benedictum's hype isn't actually generated through the group's 80's metal leanings. Much has been made over frontwoman Veronica Freeman, and while I'm not exactly sure whether it's just because she's a chick in a metal band or because of her almost frightening Dio-meets-Halford-esque singing style (though probably the former!), she's definitely the band's centrepiece. Freemen's aggressive vocal delivery ranges from gritty shouts to raspy one-liners and high screams, and to be honest, if you didn't know it was a woman behind the mic, you probably wouldn't be able to tell. While her vocal style isn't original by any means, Freemen sets the tone for every song on the album (sans the eleven minute title track). The power-ballad "Steel Rain" is the only song where Freemen changes things up, leaving out the testosterone filled aggression in favour of a more operatic approach.

Much like Freemen, the rest of Benedictum is good at what they do. Guitarist Pete Wells lays down heavy, overdriven riffs, particularly effective in the likes of "Shell Shocker" and "Legacy". Bassist Jesse Wright is inaudible and drummer Paul Courtois lays down some solid fills. This isn't what Benedictum's problem is. Seasons of Tragedy's main flaw is its predictability and stagnancy. Much like the traditional 80's metal which precedes it, the album is incredibly formulaic. Seasons of Tragedy features nine soaring metal anthems, a power ballad (the aforementioned "Steel Rain") and an eleven minute epic. What's more, the first nine tracks all recycle the same ideas. Nothing differentiates "Shell Shocker" from "Beast in the Field" and "Nobodies Victim". Hell, even the Accept cover "Balls to the Wall" sounds identical to everything else. Maybe it would have made for a better listen if it was shorter (Seasons of Tragedy is nearly an hour long), but the album is so conventional and boring that it just isn't very much fun to listen to.

Essentially, Benedictum is simply regurgitating twenty-five year old metal, only without putting their own stamp on it, as a band like Machine Men does. If you wear denim jackets, enjoy riding motorcycles down highways for no real reason, and think all music post-1984 is garbage, than sure, Seasons of Tragedy might be something you'll want to look into. But for the rest of us, it's a nice novelty but ultimately doesn't get the job done.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
south_of_heaven 11
May 20th 2008


5438 Comments


Somebody needs to remind Benedictum that the 1980's are over.

If I took that advice, I'd hate 85% of my music!

Essence
May 20th 2008


3595 Comments


Mike, mike.... this one seems rushed...
Re-read the first paragraph; there are a few problems in it.
Good review though.

lol @ South.This Message Edited On 05.20.08

Mikesn
Emeritus
May 20th 2008


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Eeh yeah, I guess parts of it were kind of awkward. Edited it a bit.

If I took that advice, I'd hate 85% of my music!
you and your WarbringerThis Message Edited On 05.20.08

Ouch
May 20th 2008


546 Comments


So south, in other words, this would be a band you'd like?

HeadCharge123
May 20th 2008


475 Comments


jeez, theyre not that badd!
Shell Shock, Within The Solace and Burn It Out are really tight.

Mikesn
Emeritus
May 20th 2008


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

stupid, whoopsThis Message Edited On 05.21.08

jrowa001
May 21st 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i fucking love this album. i guess we have different opinions of it

Ouch
May 21st 2008


546 Comments


I might really like this album. Is this anything like ...And Justice For All?This Message Edited On 05.21.08

HeadCharge123
May 21st 2008


475 Comments


Hmm, I wouldn't say it was like "...And Justice For All"
looking at your profile, I'd say this was worth you checking out nonetheless.

If you wanna preview it before buying/downloading whatever the songs I mentioned above are the ones you wanna listen to to see if you would like it. They're the best representation of what this album has to offer.




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