One Track Mind: Benedictum, “Bang” (2011)

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Sometimes what you need is a good us-against-the-world song.

The past few months — and the past few weeks, in particular — have been the shittiest of my nearly 40 years. Sorry, but there’s not a pretty way to say it. Music has always been a coping mechanism for me, and I’ve filled the hours recently with a lot of songs from my favorite underground country acts that kind of reflect my situation. I’ve needed them, and they’re great songs for feeling sorry for yourself, but tonight the metal came roaring back.

I was on the treadmill trying to focus my energy into something positive when this song came pouring out of my headphones. It was always one of my favorite tunes on Benedictum’s 2011 album Dominion, but on this night, it was perfect time, perfect song. I did the last mile of my three and a half with this song blasting on repeat as loud as I could stand it, feet pounding on the deck of the treadmill, screaming along and releasing that primal rage at the command of vocalist Veronica Freeman. Fists, horns and fingers were flying over my head along with the instructions of the lyrics, and it was one of the most cathartic moments I can remember in a long time.

It’s an old standard in heavy metal, the alienated coming together and rising up in anger, but it still works just as well as it ever did. Especially when it’s delivered with a driving, forceful, incredibly catchy chorus hook like this one, and Freeman’s growled “rage” on the end of it just puts the perfect power punctuation on the message.

Sure, the lyrics are a little clichéd. Doesn’t matter. It’s the spirit of the song, and it’s exactly what I was looking for.

I walked away from the treadmill feeling vindicated, refreshed, confident and victorious. As I write this, I feel better than I’ve felt in months. As the moment and the endorphins fade, who knows how long the feeling will hang around? But for a few minutes, I remembered exactly why I made heavy metal my chosen music so many years ago, exactly why I fell in love with it almost instantly, and exactly what it’s given me over the years.

Oh yeah, and I feel like I could run through a brick wall unscathed, and that, my friends, is a great feeling right about now.

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Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips
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