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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The V - Now Or Never Album Review


Veronica Freeman the front woman of Benedictum and Dio wannabe moves out of her comfort zone to do a solo album for the Frontiers label. To say Frontiers have thrown the kitchen sink at this is an understatement. Either that, or Ms. Freeman has a blackmail (little black) book of decent proportions (see and I didn’t mention her boobies at all!). She has gathered a rather impressive array of talent from the rock-pool! Band mates Pete Wells, Aric Avina and Rikard Stjernquist (Benedictum), Michael Sweet (Stryper), Garry Bordonaro (The Rods), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner, T&N), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Tony Martin (Sabbath), Jerry Dixon (Warrant) and many, many more!

Her music with Benedictum started out as a novelty for me as they did excellent Dio covers. Now Or Never is a decent departure from the more metal vocals of Benedictum and proves that Freeman has a decent singing voice on her when not forcing the issue. The album kicks off with a few above average songs, with opener ‘Again’ showing the talents of Freeman and Michael Sweet, advertising the modern, harder edge of Sweets talents on guitar and production. ‘Roller Coaster’ jumps out of the blocks like a classic Kiss song, think Strutter or Deuce. ‘L.O.V.E.’ and ‘Ready To Run’ have their musical roots firmly planted in the 80s. There are a couple of duets worth a mention here. Firstly ‘Kiss My Lips’ with Leather Leone of Chastain (with both sounding very similar in style) and showing that the vocal similarity blends well. The second duet ‘King For A Day’ with Tony Martin shows he has lost none of his power and is as good as his Sabbath days.

All in all ‘Now or Never’; proves to be a decent album, and one I suspect that will top the Frontiers sales come the end of the year such is the pull across the metal fraternity for Ms. Freeman. It’s not far removed from her Benedictum stuff, but she is given more chance to shine. I’m expecting greater things should no2 be on the cards.

Score 75/100

 Veronica Freeman – Lead vocals
Leather Leone – Duet vocals  “Kiss my Lips”
Tony Martin- Duet vocals “King for a Day”
Meliesa McDonell- additional vocals “Star Shine” & Acoustic guitars
Derek Kerswill- drums
Jeff Pilson, Mel Brown, Garry Bordonaro, Aric Avina, John O’Boyle & Mike Lepond- Bass
Pete Wells, Michael Sweet ,Peter Tentindo, Jimmy Durkin, Mick Tucker, Jordan Ziff, Michael Harris  – Guitars

Produced by John Herrera
except for:
King for a Day (produced by Kenny Lewis)
Love Should be to Blame & Again (produced by Michael Sweet)

Released 3/7/15

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