Battle Beast - Steel review
|Release date:||April 2011|
01. Enter The Metal World
02. Armageddon Clan
03. The Band Of The Hawk
04. Justice And Metal
06. Die-Hard Warrior
08. Show Me How To Die
09. Savage And Saint
10. Iron Hand
12. Stay Black [2012 re-release bonus]
Battle Beast are a young band formed in 2008 from Helsinki, Finland. I learned about them thanks to Wacken Open Air. They won Metal Battle, a contest for new bands held at the German festival. I listened to their single, "Show Me How To Die" simply out of curiosity, but I didn't expect what I heard. Powerful and melodic traditional metal that's more than just a lifeless copy of old British bands. Steel is their debut album. They were spotted by some Nuclear Blast scouts and released the CD via this giant label. Whether it's a good decision or not to join such a huge company right at the beginning of their career - not for me to judge. What I can judge, however, is their music.
As I mentioned, Battle Beast are a band that try to bring back the golden era of metal, the 80s. Yes, they can be classified as a part of New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, but who needs these idiotic tags? At the base of each song are riffs, obviously, which fall somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal. Most of them evoke the "I've heard that before" feeling, but really, who cares? Battle Beast do not intend to create any new genre or cause discussions in which internet metal nerds would argue how they should be categorized or if they're true enough to appear on metal-archives. The only things that differentiate the Finns from your average retro-heavy metal band are a chick holding the duty of singing and synthesizers. The first difference doesn't really change anything, because Nitte Valo doesn't do opera-singing which seems to be the point of having a girl in most of the female-fronted bands. She's a regular heavy metal screamer and adds some charm to the band's appearance. And synthesizers? Don't worry, they don't transform the music into symphonic metal, however, sometimes they are a bit annoying. But maybe it's just me, I'm not really used to hearing electronic sounds in my headphones.
It's really difficult to distinguish any particular tracks that stand out, but two of them differ a bit. One of them is "The Band of the Hawk", which is calmer and reminds me of some folk bands. Unfortunately, the parts of some extraordinary instruments are replaced with synthesizers, which sounds a bit phony. The other track is "Savage and Saint", a ballad about a difficult love. But does it really surprise anyone? At first I wanted to mention the lyrics, but I thought I'd just suggest you to look at the tracklist. Do these titles sound familiar? I thought so. The topics that are present on Steel are, among (not so many) others: death, war, love and metal. A heavy metal cliché, but they're so cheesy that it's actually fun to listen to them. Don't worry, they don't spoil the atmosphere of the music, what's more, they fit in brilliantly.
Battle Beast's Steel is a powerful trad heavy metal record and a wonderful debut for a band with less than four years of history. Being with Nuclear Blast, I hope they will emerge from the sea of bands alike and become a big act, because they do have a lot of potential.
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