(7/10) I'm not the biggest fan of Benedictum's power metal. Therefore I was hesitating when I got The V. The name stands for Veronica 'the V' Freeman, singer and frontlady from Benedictum. But instead of producing a pure metal album Freeman took the freedom and recorded a longplayer that has much more of a hardrock vibe. If you imagine the overlap of Lita Ford, Robin Beck and Lee Aaron in the "Metal queen" days you have at least a bit of an idea what you can expect.
In total "Now or never" contains 12 songs that are somewhere between hardrock and classic rock. The joy with each of the tracks is that Freeman got support from many friends. This gives the tunes a certain diversity that helps to keep up the level of tension. It's e.g. Pete Wells and Michael Sweet that plays guitar on some of the tracks. Jeff Pilson and Mike LePond are supporting with their bass on some of the tunes and all in all it's much more guests on "Now or never".
The disc also contains two duets. 'The V' shares the mic with Chastain singer Leather Leone for the powerful "Kiss my lips" and it is Tony Martin himself that joins on the gloomy "King for a day".
But in the end it is Freeman's voice that dominates the album - of course, it's her solo project. As said, hardrock fits much better than metal - at least that's my humble opinion. Songs like the rocking "Line in the sand", the Dokken-like "Spellbound" and the fast "Ready to run" are entertaining rock songs that will not be spurned by hardrock fans.
Another cool track is the title song. It is one of the harder numbers on the record and comes with a really good groove.
There are couple of songs, like "L.O.V.E", that sound a bit more uninspired and can't live up to the high quality of the others.
However, in the end there are enough good tracks on "Now or never" to make the longplayer to a solid hardrock album that makes fun. When it comes to me Freeman could continue that way.
- Now or never
- Roller coaster
- Line in the sand
- Love should be to blame
- Kiss my lips
- Below zero
- Ready to run
- King for a day
Release date EU: July 3rd, 2015