Battle Beast Are Battle Beasts On Battle Beast
The cover of Battle Beast’s self-titled sophomore album makes a lot of promises. Specifically, it promises that this album is the appropriate soundtrack to thong-clad lion-people brutally slaying robots. Indeed, when you put on Battle Beast, you expect the record to be as awesome and ridiculous as the characters in the toy line after which it was named (did they have Battle Beasts in Finland? One assumes, given this band). And indeed, promises are met and expectations are met, as this Helsinki sextet brings you an album packed with over-the-top modern power metal that easily speaks to steel underwear, giant electrified weaponry, and riding space-skiffs over moonlit lakes filled with cyborg dolphins. That kind of thing.
What is immediately notable about the band is singer Noora Louhimo’s vocal style. While Ms. Louhimo’s Doro Pesch-ish Scandinavian Amazon appearance promises all the soaring operatic grandeur of, well, Doro Pesch, she often breaks into a pop-tinged sneering whisper or a rattling shriek. Don’t get me wrong, Louhimo holds down the power metal fort—on “Out On The Streets,” she says “I carry an axe on my back/No shelter when they attack” and there’s no question as to what kind of music you’re listening to. But it is refreshing to hear variety in this sort of female vocal.
The music, however, is pretty straightforward. Most of the songs are typical chug-along power metal, replete with keyboards and whinnying guitars and gang vocals about the thing that the song is named after (though it sadly appears “Rain Man” is not about Rain Man). The opener “Let It Roar” is big and twinkly and would be great to listen to while drinking beer at Wacken. “Out of Control” is fun, fast, and slightly satanic. “Neuromancer” does not deeply examine William Gibson’s work, but it does have a moment where a robot voice says the word ‘Neuromancer’ before the guitars kick back in. “Into The Heart of Danger” opens with dueling guitars that lead to dueling vocal parts, and urges the listener not to let darkness enchain them. The running theme of a cybernetic apocalypse is present in “Raven” and “Machine Revolution,” while “Fight, Kill, and Die” is a sped-up rager that smacks of Annihilator as much as it does Dragonforce.
Yet this doesn’t make Battle Beast bad. Most MetalSucks readers and writers just aren’t the type to crank Edguy or Nightwish, this one included, so it’s natural that this album wouldn’t get a five-star review. But as far as this kind of music goes, it’s rather entertaining from beginning to end, if a little cheesy and predictable. If you’re in need of sweat, grit, disharmony and bleakness, don’t listen to this…obviously. But if you want to feel like a human-animal hybrid plunging a shock-dagger through the chest of an evil robot drone? Yeah, this shit’ll do juuust fine.
Battle Beast’s self-titled album is out now on Nuclear Blast. You can purchase it here.