CD REVIEW Battle Beast

Band : Battle Beast
Album title : Steel
Label : Nuclear Blast Records
Distributor : PIAS
Release date : 27/01/2012
Release : CD

This Helsinki based band was formed in early 2008 with the intent to bring back the epic sounds of true Heavy Metal, bringing high screams, old school riffs, and strong choruses. To accomplish this, (female) lead singer Nitte, guitarists Juuso and Anton (the latter also performing lead and backing vocals), keyboardist/ backing singer Janne, bassist/ backing singer/ narrator Eero and drummer Pyry first made sure they had a selection of catchy tunes before they did their debut gig at the Pub Alabama in Järvenpää (some 35 km from the center of Helsinki in Northern direction) in May 2009.

One year and 14 independent shows later, the band was offered the opportunity to support Blaze Bayley (formerly of Iron Maiden) during the singer/ band's 4 of 5 Finish shows of their Promise And Terror tour. The feedback to Battle Beast's first mini-tour was nothing but positive, and so after the tour the sextet decided to enter the W.O.A. Metal Battle in Finland. Winning the national contest, they were then set against 26 other bands from all over the world, and came out victorious. Not only did they get to play at the infamous German festival (August 8, 2010), but they also secured full endorsements and high quality equipment from the likes of Marshall, Woodbrass, Mapex, Paiste, Washburn, and Eden. Multiple labels came a-knocking, but for the time being the band decided not to go into any deal.

In stead, they self-financed recordings for their debut album which they released in April 2011, preceding it with a single for the track “Show Me How To Die”. Then, in November 2011, Nuclear Blast came along...and this time the band did not hesitate (who could resist?). In April and May the band will join label mates Nightwish for their first European tour (20 gigs in 28 days and 13 countries - neighborhood shows include Amsterdam, HMH's gig on April 13, and Brussels, Forest National two days later).

What's all the fuzz about? Well, to start with, Nitte's vocals are reminiscent to a crossing of Udo Dickschneider (Accept, U.D.O.) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest), but with an added warmness which comes from having a naturally high-pitched woman's voice. This allows her to have power at heights where most men are already at the top of their voice. Secondly, the music itself is a crossing of more Teutonic-geared Heavy Metal (dó thing Accept!), with elements from US Power Metal alà Manowar, or W.A.S.P. (huh...I know, I'm simply re-writing the words and comparisons the band itself uses on their own website!). I'll add that some songs occasionally give one a feel of “...where have I heard that before...?”, until the singer comes to the fore. Also, the added lead vocals of guitarist Anton make for a stylistic change extra in the whole.

Although the band has its own website (www.) battlebeast.fi and pages at MySpace and Last.fm, it's on their facabook(www.) facebook.com/battlebeastofficial that you'll find the most music posted (lead album single “Show Me How To Die” and the anthemic “Enter The Metal World”). If you wanna hear more, you'll either have to make due with the 30-second samples usually provided by the trustworthy online sales websites, try to find the album at your local record store for a listening session, or go see the band when they criss-cross Europe (dates available on their own website and that of the label)!

88/100

Tony.