If there was a sign that I would like Battle Beast (who actually made Band of the Day back in 2013), it was the inclusion of a cover of “Out of Control” on Sabaton’s recent album Heroes. One of my favourite bands covering a track by a band who – at the time – only had two albums out. That’s a hell of a compliment.
As it happens, Battle Beast started touring Europe in support of Sabaton on January 9th, the same day that their third album, Unholy Savior, was released.
First thing first – Battle Beast don’t offer anything really new. However, what the do provide is a great rendition of classic battle and speed metal. They’ve taken existing genres, carved out a little niche within them and called it home. As such, they’re an easy band to get to like if you’re already into any similar bands.
This is the first album where the band have outsourced production and mixing duties, the first two being done completely in-house. I can’t comment on the previous albums (though I’m going to get hold of them), but Unholy Savior sounds good.
Being in honest mode, I’d say that Battle Beast sound a bit cheesy… but in a way that’s instantly appealing. The upbeat tone of most of the tracks yells “I’m having fun and fuck it, I don’t care what you think”. I can picture the band grinning like fools as they shred out the “Trooper”-esque riff of “I Want the World… And Everything In It”. Noora Louhimo’s screached vocals conjure up the image of her posed on stage, legs in a wide stance sweeping her hand (and gaze) slowly across the audience.
Frankly, that one track has it all and sums up the album as a whole. Fun, bouncy, catchy, shouty metal.
“Madness” is more disjointed and chuggy, but no less enjoyable because of it – especially when the chorus kicks in with it’s easy-to-sing-along-to refrain. “Speed and Danger” is as much a description of track six as it is the subject matter. Ploughing through almost five minutes at a breakneck pace, it’s like someone mated Europe and Annihilator. Which is now conjuring up some horrid slash fiction images of Joey Tempest and Jeff Waters, so I’ll ditch that metaphor right now.
One obligatory power ballad slips in at just over a minute in length, so if you’re unforgiving of the lighter moments then “The Black Swordsman” won’t ruin the album for you. It’s followed by the rather excellent instrumental “Hero’s Quest” as well. There is a second, longer, ballad in “Angel’s Cry” which rounds off the album, however. Personally, I reckon it’s OK (not brilliant), but I do know a fair few people who are all about the louder material.
Overall, a good set of songs and with a tone and tempo that I can see going down very well live.