The V - 'Now Or Never'
Veronica Freeman – Lead Vocals
Leather Leone – Duet Vocals “Kiss My Lips”
Tony Martin - Duet Vocals “King For A Day”
Meliesa McDonell - Additional Vocals “Starshine” & 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
1.) "Again" - This track opens with an eighth-note rhythm guitar riff, bass note and cymbal crash. This arrangement lasted throughout the entire intro with every other one adding. Over the top of this there is a lead guitar riff. The last note of the rhythm guitar was carried out to connect the next rhythm guitar riff. Except for cymbal crashes the musical arrangement is laced in between the lyric lines. At the end of the second and third lyric lines there was a small echo attached to it. When I first heard Veronica's vocals on this opening verse the first thing I thought of was of Lorraine Lewis of Femme Fatal. After the first measure of the verse the band kicks-in with a full musical arrangement. There was n arrangement change for the musical chorus. Her vocal lines of the chorus had a huge hook attached to them. For the second chorus it sounded like Veronica double-tracked her lead vocal lines. The rhythm guitar of the second verse consisted of one hell of a mean riff. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. Though the solo was very well written there is always one rule of thumb when writing music never make the rhythm guitar more intense sounding than the solo.
2.) "Now or Never" - This intro opens with a rhythm guitar riff. Underneath the second riff a second guitar riff kicks-in along with a drum line. As the opening riff continues there was a bass drum kick. The opening musical verse consisted of the same guitar rhythm as the intro. There was a few lead guitar licks connecting the third and fourth lyric lines of the verse. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus. Veronica kept the lyrical chorus very simple and straight forward. The rhythm guitar riffs of this song have a mean sound to them. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section. This breakdown section lead to a twin lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo ran underneath the third and forth choruses.
3.) "Rollercoaster" - This track opens with a rhythm guitar riff. When the band kicks-in the song almost had a Montrose. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. Veronica sings her ass off on the lyrical verse of this song. After the second chorus there was a breakdown section that lead to a blistering lead guitar solo. The third verse was mainly vocals, drums and bass.
4.) "L.O.V.E." - This song had a very simple feel to it.
5.) "Line In The Sand" - With this track it is hard to say which is better the uitar work or Veronica's lead vocals!
6.) "Love Should Be To Blame" - This track opened with a small drum fill. The intro consisted of one rhythm guitar arrangement. However a second rhythm guitar arrangement kicks-in connecting the intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro section. For the musical chorus Veronica really showed the power of her vocals. The lead guitar solo was slowed down just a little.
7.) "Kiss My Lips" - This intro consisted of a minor lead guitar solo over the top of it. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro. Leather Leone of Chastin sings on the chorus of this chorus. The two female vocalists matched very well together. After the chorus there was a very small minor lead guitar solo. After the second chorus there was a twin lead guitar solo.
8.) "Spellbound" - The intro of this track consisted of a fairly standard intro arrangement. There was an arrangement change for the musical verse. Some of the lyric lines consisted of a small echo. For the pre-chorus there was a small musical change the drum line switched from a standard hi-hat pattern to a tom-tom pattern. There as a minor lead guitar solo connecting the pre-chorus with the chorus. The major lead guitar solo as after the second chorus. The solo was done as a twin lead guitar solo.
9.) "Starshine" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. Veronica's vocals of the musical verse was amazing. There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo lead to a breakdown section.
10.) "Below Zero" - This track opens with a fairly simple intro arrangement. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement of the intro for the opening musical verse. After the second lyric line a second rhythm guitar kicks-in. The two rhythm guitars were different guitar arrangement than one another. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. After the first chorus there as was a minor lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo ran underneath the first few lyric lines of the next chorus. There was a twin lead guitar solo after the second chorus. For the coda there was two separate rhythm guitar arrangements.
11.) "Ready To Run" - The musical intro o this track had a very intense feel to it. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro. Scattered throughout the verses there was little lead guitar licks. The lead guitar solo that was wrote for this track was very short. There was a huge vocal scream for the coda.
12.) "King For A Day" - There was several lead guitar licks over the top of the intro of this track. For me the bass drum kick made the drum line for the musical verse. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. The second verse as a duet with Tony Martin formerly of Black Sabbath after the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the third and forth choruses.
Born on December 17, 1977 in San Diego, CA, Veronica Freeman has an intoxicating powerful vocal ability that continues to be a staple of excellence within the realm of female fronted heavy metal bands. In 2005 her musical journey began to take shape when her band Benedictum was introduced to former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson who produced the band's 2006 debut release title, 'Uncreation'. Since then Veronica has continued to reach for the stars releasing three CD's with Benedictum ['Uncreation'(2006), 'Seasons of Tragedy' (2008), 'Domininion' (2011) and 'Obey' (2013)].
On July 24, 2015 Veronica Freeman released her debut solo CD through Frontiers Records. She chose to release the CD under the moniker The V as opposed to Veronica Freeman. Veronica Freeman's nickname by family and friends is "The V". So my guess is this is where she came up with the band's name.
Personally I have never thought Benedictum musical sound and the sound of Veronica's voice really matched well together. I'm not going to point blame on one thing because it could be everything from songwriting to audio production.
So when Frontiers sent me a copy of Veronica's new solo CD I thought to myself "ohh boy this is gonna be a long review". Boy was I wrong. When she starts singing the first lyric of the first song the first person hat crossed my mind was vocalist Lorraine Lewis of Femme Fatale and their two big hits "Waiting for the Big One" and "Falling In and Out of Love". 'Now or Never' features a huge array of special guests, including Pete Wells, Aric Avina and Rikard Stjernquistdic of Benedictum, Michael Sweet (Stryper), Garry Bordonaro (The Rods), Jeffrom Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Jerry Dixon (Warrant) and more. 'Now or Never' is a complete musical departure from her own band Benedictum. Freemen's vocals range from classic rock to heavy metal. Which would make every fan of those genres a very happy listener. Even if you are not a fan of her band Benedictum I have complete faith you will fall in love with The V! 'Now Or Never is an absolute must have for genre's of all classic rock, AOR, melodic metal and heavy metal fans!