Hot off the Press

Battle Beast | Steel

by Nikiforos Skoumas
Staff Writer –

And just when you thought major labels no longer invest on newcomer acts, comes Battle Beast. The plainly titled Steel is their debut album, issued by Nuclear Blast in an attempt to increase their slice of the pie labeled as New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal.

Battle Beast are a female-fronted metal group from Finland and though this kind of profile might sound all too familiar, Battle Beast, as mentioned above, sound nothing like the average Scandinavian female fronted band. At the same time, however it is important to note that Steel is not quite the stereotypical traditional metal release either.

The best way one finds to describe their music is a mixture of Lordi and Dream Evil; Battle Beast combine the commercial elements of the former (keyboards, melodic guitar lines, straightforward songwriting) with the attack of the latter (up-front rhythm section, high pitched vocals, and extensive shredding solos).

Clearly, the protagonist instrument on Steel is the guitar and obviously the lead vocals; Nitte Valo is capable of carrying the vocal melodies at the top of her range, yet her vibrato might come out as rather funny, depending on the listener’s taste and orientation. At the same time one can not fail to give credit to the guitar partnership of Anton Kabanen and Jusso Soinio who deliver on every song, making each guitar solo a musical piece at its own right. The rhythm section of Eero Sipila and Pyry Vikki drives the main body of the song though but the performance is nothing out of the ordinary. Also very significant is the contribution of their keyboardist Janne Bjorkroth who dressed the songs with orchestral arrangements which reinforces the depth of the overall composition and performance.

Moving to the lyrical concept, well, between the cover artwork and the song titles you already have a pretty accurate picture of Battle Beast’s direction; “Enter the Metal World”, “Justice and Metal,” “Steel,” “Victory,” “Stay Black” and the single “Show Me How to Die” say just about everything regarding this newcomer band. Yes, Steel lies at the heart of Metal cliché and can grow a bit tiring after consecutive plays, obviously not due to its technical aspects (the songs are very well arranged after all) but because of the repetition of certain motto’s and words.

For fans of traditional heavy metal enjoying the current resurgence of the genre, Battle Beast is bound to give them another reason to smile this month. Steel is classic sounding heavy metal with no shame but with great production that should probably reach all international metal communities.

Genre: Heavy, Epic Metal

Line Up:
Nitte Valo – Vocals
Anton Kabanen – Guitar, Vocals
Pyry Vikki – Drums
Juuso Soinio – Guitar
Eero Sipila – Bass, Vocals
Janne Bjorkroth – Keyboards, Vocals

Track Listing:
01. Enter The Metal World
02. Armageddon Clan
03. The Band Of The Hawk
04. Justice And Metal
05. Steel
06. Die-Hard Warrior
07. Cyberspace
08. Show Me How To Die
09. Savage And Saint
10. Iron Hand
11. Victory

Band Website: http://www.hypeproductions.fi/battlebeast/

Label: Nuclear Blast

Hardrock haven rating: 7.5/10

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