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Battle Beast
Bringer Of Pain
February 2017
Released: 2017, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Manos X

Battle Beast hail from Finland were they formed back in 2005 and their style can be described as balls on classic heavy metal. In the first five years of their existence the kept themselves busy by releasing four demos before finally getting a contract that led their 1st album STEEL in 2011. An album that was impressive as fuck since it combined superb captivating vocals by Nitte Valo (now fronting Burning Point), incredible fast & melodic solos that brought guitar virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio to mind, riffing that clearly influenced from the Accept’s golden era and keyboards that brought that 80s hard rock vibe!



Confused? well on paper (or screen if you prefer) it may sound as a failed experiment but in reality Battle Beast’s debut was quite successful and turned lots of heads. You see despite all descriptions above they knew how to write catchy songs with strong choruses and plenty of headbanging moments. If your taste for metal is complex rhythms, unusual song structures and cryptic emotional lyrics then feel free to look elsewhere ‘cause what Battle Beast stands for is pure fun, headbanging and screaming.



After their 3rd album UNHOLY SAVIOR guitarist Anton Kabanen was fired. That shouldn’t be a big deal since almost 95% of bands go through member changes but in this case things were different. You see Anton wasn’t just a guitarist but (according to his interviews) also the band’s producer, main composer, lyricist, backing vocalist and lead guitarist!!!!! Not only that but he was responsible for bringing the amazing singer Noora Louhimo when Nitte Valo unexpected quit the band a year after STEEL was released!!!! Imagine Steve Harris being fired from Iron Maiden weird huh!!!??



As anyone can imagine a change of that magnitude will definitely impact the songwriting naturally the band’s sound. For fans that know Battle Beast’s material will easily identify their focusing to more melodic paths meaning their music became less heavy in comparison to previous 3 albums. Moving closer to hard rock and moving just a bit away from metal Battle Beast create 10 songs flirting with a more Europe/Pretty Maids/Survivor (yes the band behind ‘80s monster hit “Eye of the Tiger”) style. They aren’t shamelessly copying/pasting anything but it’s more apparent where their influences these days lay.



Unfortunately their simple but same time catchy songwriting isn’t here anymore. The opener “Straight to the Heart” and “King for a Day” sound way to close to “Touch in the Night” (from previous album) one of their worst songs in my opinion. Keyboards dominating the sound leaving less room for guitars. Same rule applies to “We will Fight” and “Familiar Hell” as well. “Bringer of pain” starts with a fast paced rhythm and riff that is sorely missing from this album but after a little while falls flat mostly to the uninspired chorus.



There a couple of interesting and diverse moments (in comparison to their past) where Battle Beast is flirting with Nightwish’s sound and style!! Just check out “Beyond the Burning Skies” or “Lost In Wars” and take my word that even Tuomas Holopainen (Nighwish’s mainman) would think there were some lost demos who never made to their last two albums. An honorable mention must be made for the horrid “Dancing with the beast” bringing ‘00s pop artists like Rihanna or Christina Aguilera to mind with annoying keyboards flying all over the place, the only thing missing is a “let’s dance” or “put your hands up in the air” phrase and maybe some rapping!!!



Musicianship is on a good level here as would someone expect so there aren’t any surprises here. Guitar solos have also been slowed and mellowed down and that’s not a bad thing since Anton was mostly a fast but not great in writing tasty or memorable leads. However newcomer guitarist Joona Björkroth hasn’t managed to make an impact either with his playing. Another part that’s suffering are the backing vocals that now been reduced to gang screams similar to what Accept always used doing. I truly miss Anton’s imperfect Udo (U.D.O., ex-Accept) style of singing that brought an extra dimension to their sound. Anton was never of course a technical singer (or even a good one) but no one can deny his vocals were passionate with harder and unpolished edge.



As for singer Noora Louhimo she sounds amazing as ever. If there is a female singer able to carry the legacy of voices like Jutta Weinhold (Weinhold, Zed Yago), Leather Leone (Chastain, Leather) or Doro Pesch (Doro, Warlock) Noora is the one. Unfortunately this album is plagued by mediocre ideas and doesn’t take advantage of her insane range and skill. But if “Bringer of pain” is an album of showcasing how many different styles she can perform (besides metal) from r’n’b to pop and to Nightwish’s next possible singer’s audition then yes it’s a solid groovy (have mercy!) piece of music



I can’t describe my disappointment for this album as it seems most of inspiration fled with Anton’s removal and Battle Beast is left with leftovers. I’d even go as far as to say that BRINGER OF PAIN is what PINK BUBBLES GO APE was for Helloween (which wasn’t that bad but when looking back to the previous Keeper albums it was an utter pile of crap). For me its back to the drawing board for these guys and let’s hope they’ll return with a stronger release in the near future.
Track Listing

1. Straight to the Heart
2. Bringer of Pain
3. King for a Day
4. Beyond the Burning Skies
5. Familiar Hell
6. Lost in Wars
7. Bastard Son of Odin
8. We Will Fight
9. Dancing with the Beast
10. Far from Heaven

Lineup

Noora Louhimo Vocals
Joona Björkroth Guitar
Juuso Soinio Guitar
Eero Sipilä Bass
Janne Björkroth Keyboards
Pyry Vikki Drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Battle Beast
by JP

» Unholy Saviour
by Carla (Guest reviewer Denmark/Romania)

» Bringer Of Pain
by Manos X

» Bringer Of Pain
by JP


Next review: » Battle Beast - Bringer Of Pain
Previous review: » Battle Beast - Battle Beast

Battle Beast
Bringer Of Pain
February 2017
Released: 2017, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

It is not very often that we will have two staff members write a review for the same album, unless there are significantly different opinions. This is one of those cases! I was surprised to see that one of our Greek writers, Manos X did not enjoy BRINGER OF PAIN by Battle Beast! I decided to write a very quick counter-point review because I loved this record! Please go read Manos X's excellent review, where he does a great job of explaining the history of the band as well as why he feels this albums falls short. In fact, read his first, it will make more sense.



I can't deny the band is evolving away from Power Metal to Pop Metal, and as much as that make make some people shudder as a fan of melodic Hard Rock, and AOR, I really like the direction. BRINGER OF PAIN with it's super clean production, heavy emphasis on keyboards and uber-catchy choruses reminds me very much of Lordi or even , imagine if you will an 80's Cher album on crack. Noora is an amazing singer, power, range, sweetness, as well she has has some spoken word parts and check out that opening scream on the title track! The band is exploring more variety in the song-writing with tunes like 'Lost In Wars' and some pop-inspired beats on tracks like 'King For A Day' with a huge 80's keyboard effect and a drum-beat that you could find on a heavier ABBA song. I know that will probably make most people shudder! Album highlights include' Bastard Son Of Odin', with a master chorus with gang-vocals. In his review Manos said the band was moving more towards Europe and Pretty Maids, which I agree with. I love both those bands too! I will admit that the second last song, "Dancing With The Beast' is a pretty dramatic change and will likely piss off lots of old fans. The first time I heard it I wondered what they were going for and could be the only weaker song on the record. The beat is right out of the disco club! Maybe that is why it is buried at track nine. The album ends off on a quieter note with a beautiful ballad with acoustic piano and heartfelt lyric. If you like fun, punchy pop Metal, this album rules.



It is odd but I agree with everything Manos X says in his his review, in terms of who and why the band released the album they did. In all respects his analysis and review of the new Battle Beast album, BRINGER OF PAIN is far superior to my own perspective, but I just can't help but loving this catchy, fun album. Give it a chance but try before you buy!
Track Listing

1. Straight to the Heart
2. Bringer of Pain
3. King for a Day
4. Beyond the Burning Skies
5. Familiar Hell
6. Lost in Wars
7. Bastard Son of Odin
8. We Will Fight
9. Dancing with the Beast
10. Far from Heaven

Lineup

Noora Louhimo Vocals
Joona Björkroth Guitar
Juuso Soinio Guitar
Eero Sipilä Bass
Janne Björkroth Keyboards
Pyry Vikki Drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Battle Beast
by JP

» Unholy Saviour
by Carla (Guest reviewer Denmark/Romania)

» Bringer Of Pain
by Manos X

» Bringer Of Pain
by JP


Next review: » Battle Beast - Unholy Saviour
Previous review: » Battle Beast - Battle Beast





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