Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Battle Beast - S/T (2013)

I always have a bad hunch when it comes to self titled albums that is not a debut. For me, it is a sign that the band has lost most of its inspiration and fantasy, so they just put up some fillers and make an album out of them. So you can understand that I was a little worried when I found out that the sophomore album from Finnish metallers Battle Beast was self titled. Their debut, "Steel", was a great show of power, youthful passion and... well, more power, so I still held my head high when I took on this album.

The biggest reason on why I had a bad hunch for this album was not for the title, it was for the fact that the band has changed singer. Out with Nitte Valo (I do not think that she is related to HIM singer Ville Valo) and in with Noora Louhimo. I did not think that Noora could take over the power that Nitte brought, but Noora proved me wrong more or less instantly. Noora has about the same strength in her voice as Nitte had, and she can also tone it down and sing beautiful. So in conclusion, Noora has a huge vocal range and she is the perfect replacement for the band.

So we have a new singer, but the music is the same as it was in "Steel". Energetic power metal that takes no prisoners. I have to say though that the band has increased their influential width. For instance, I notice some classic 80's sound in "Into The Heart of Danger" and I hint some inspiration from Lita Ford in "Out On The Streets". And even if I like the fact that the band is trying out new sounds and styles, I feel that they have some way too go before they can master the fine arts of musical variation.

But just like in "Steel", it is the powerful and fast songs that is stealing the show. The opener "Let It Roar" sets the bar with a fierce scream and some good work on the synth while "Neuromancer" keeps the momentum with a adrenaline kick that is highly addicting, but the true top speed is measured in "Fight, Kill, Die" where the band is speeding faster than a Formula 1 car. There is, however, some songs that does not stand out for its speed, but for its great musicality. The mid-tempo track "Kingdom" has probably the best musical performance in the album and the solo is also pretty sweet. Then we also have the groovy "Over The Top" that is simple, but effective in its performance. It definitely shows that Battle Beast can write other styles than just powerful songs.

But all is not well in "Battle Beast". "Black Ninja" may have some nice Nightwish vibes (a attribute that "Out of Control" also have), but the chorus is way too boring to even care about, and "Into The Heart of Danger" is about thirty years late. That songs is stinking so much 80's that it is ridiculous

"Battle Beast" is very much alike its predecessor, but it has some better variation and the new singer impresses with her vocal range. I still like "Steel" a little better since it has more of the unstoppable raw force that the band is so good at creating, but I cannot deny that this follow up is great and that it strengthen the band's position as one of the biggest rising stars in the metal world.

Songs worthy of recognition: Kingdom, Let It Roar, Neuromancer

Rating: 8/10 Black Ninjas

No comments:

Post a Comment