To know the V is to love the V. I know this first hand. I interviewed the lead singer of Benedictum around Christmas time of 2013. I was not all that familiar with Benedictum other than the fact that they covered two Ronnie James Dio songs on one record (bonus points for them) And that their lead singer Veronica Freeman looks really good on the cover of the CDs and that she has a very big and ferocious screaming voice.
I quickly found out the she has a bubbly fun personality with an infectious laugh. I had over prepared for the interview because I knew so little about her band. I had a total of a dozen questions ready when I got her on the phone. About 90 minutes later I hadn’t asked a single one!! We got on the phone and immediately started laughing. During the course of this conversation she asked me if I knew about the solo project she was working on. I said, I hadn’t but really wanted to hear her sing in a different style.
She is signed with Frontiers records out of Italy. Frontiers has, what seems like, 75 percent or more of the popular rock bands of the 80’s and early 90s. Their business model seems to be. Give these classic bands the chance to make new music and let them go on tour to sell the CDs and play the hits that everyone wants to hear. The curious thing is that Veronica doesn’t have that back catalog to rely on. So it is imperative for her to come out with a great record. Also, answer the burning question, we know she can scream and growl but can she sing?
By the time you get to the chorus of the first song on the record, you’ve forgot all about that question. That big powerful voice translates very well, thank you very much, to this new melodic style. That first song, "Again", was written and produced by Michael Sweet of Stryper, which is a big bonus. He has figured out the art of taking songs that harken back to the days of big hair, guitars, and bombast and making them sound modern without making it sound forced. He also penned and produced another song called "Love Should Be to Blame".
There’s an interesting song covered on the record too. "Rollercoaster", is a song originally done by Warrant, from the 2006 album called Born Again. The guests are all over this record, including duets with Leather Leone from Chastain and Tony Martin from Black Sabbath.
More highlights from Now or Never is the title track. It’s a straight ahead rocker in which Veronica grabs you by the collar and drags you along with her for the ride. The song Line in the Sand has an enormous hook that you can just hear the crowd singing along with her.
It really wouldn’t matter who is on this album, the star of the show is The V. She has the very rare quality of being larger than life and yet being down to earth. Go find The V. Listen to The V and you too will know the V and love the V.