RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

The V – Now or Never  
Frontiers Records

Rating: B

Okay, let’s get this out in the open from the very start of this review: The V is not a very catchy name for a band.  In fact, it probably should be changed as it really doesn’t represent anything other than a letter of the alphabet, or to perverted minds, a certain region of the female anatomy or an operation men wince thinking about.  The worst part of having such a bad name is that the music the band makes is pretty damn good.  (Didn’t heed Jethro Tull’s advice...) The band is called The V because the focal, and vocal, part of the album is the voice (and look) of Benedictum front woman Veronica Freeman.   I get it… Veronica… The V… while it makes sense, it is less than mindblowing.  Okay, let us move on as I think I have made it clear I do not like the band name!  The music, however, is a different story!

When you’re a singing rocker chick that wears outfits that enhance your, uh, lungs, and you have a voice as strong as The V (even Lady V would have been better… or if insisting on the letter being in the band name why not just ‘V”?) umm.. where was I?  OK, I digress, back to the music...  Look, Veronica, now known simply as the artist known only as The V has a hell of a set of pipes—I said PIPES as in vocal chords, as in a voice… both words that start with “V” mind you… anyway, I am talking about her voice, so move your eyes UP guys… her throat is above the region from which you are staring ( OK, maybe you are looking at her diaphragm...)   As I attempted to report before being so rudely sidetracked by my own cleverness, The V is a powerhouse vocalist (there is that letter again!).   While her day gig with Benedictum is more traditional Heavy Metal, Veronica has ventured outside of her comfort zone on this album and the results are very impressive.  She delivers big with her voice, but the music that surrounds her is impressive as well... more of a throwback to the late 1980s melodic rock era than Metal. 

Joining Veronica on the album are a cast of famous characters, none more stimulating than fellow female metal goddess Leather Leone (CHASTAIN).  A duet of two hot chicks singing a song titled “Kiss My Lips” awakens the dirt bag in all red blooded males and makes our imaginations go wild.  The fact that the tune rocks hard *ahem* is a plus.  Black Sabbath alum Tony Martin joins The V on another of the albums best tracks titled “King for a Day.”  Other notable musicians appearing on the album include Pete Wells, Aric Avina and Rikard Stjernquist of BENEDICTUM, Michael Sweet (STRYPER), Garry Bordonaro (THE RODS), Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN, FOREIGNER), Mike Lepond (SYMPHONY X), Jerry Dixon (WARRANT), Jimmy Durkin (DARK ANGEL), Mick Tucker (TANK), Jordan Ziff (AGE OF EVIL), Derek Kerswill (UNEARTH, KINGDOM OF SORROW), Peter Tentindo (VENUS MARS PROJECT), John Herrera,  Ryan Greene, Kenny Lewis, Meliesa McDonell, Michael Harris, Mel Brown and John O’Boyle.

Veronica says this about her change in musical direction, "I had a lot of input and encouragement from Frontiers Records to try and stretch myself with different musical styles and approaches. It was great to be able to work with Pete Wells writing some of these songs, too. So, it was a no-brainer to accept their proposal for a solo album, which will be released under the moniker of THE V.  I am a bit nervous and beyond excited!"

This is a very solid hard rock album where The V shines!  She’s a very veracious woman… sorry, I had to throw a couple more in there.  I swear I’m done.  Shut me up and click the video below to check out the album.


Now or Never Tracklisting:
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

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)

By Jeb Wright