Battle Beast (headline)
No More Hollywood Endings European Tour 2019 leg – 2 –
Cyhra – Special Guest
Brymir – Support Act
16/11 – 2019
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Finnish melodic/heavy power metal act Battle Beast is out on the roads of Europe on the second round of their No More Hollywood Endings tour. This time around Sweden was lucky enough to have all the dates on the tour, and to my knowledge it was the first time the band performed in Malmo. Joining them on tour was the Swedish act Cyhra as special guest with Brymir opening the shows. The day before the Malmo show, Cyhra dropped their new album, NO HALOS IN HELL. Meanwhile, Battle Beast is touring their newest album, NO MORE HOLLYWOOD ENDINGS, which came at the end March 2019 and is the follow up to 2017’s BRINGER OF PAIN.
Since the band’s start in 2005 they have managed to achieve a lot, including winning two big competitions, one at Wacken Metal Battle 2010 as well as a contest for Finnish radio station Radio Rock. Their debut album STEEL came out in 2011 and since then the band’s swapped a few members, including original singer Nitte Valo back in 2012. As well, guitar player Anton Kabanen left in 2015 to form Beast In Black. The band have achieved a lot of success along the way and this Saturday night it was time for the Malmo fans to take part of the show.
As usual, I arrived to the venue about 30 minutes before the doors would open to make sure I could catch a glimpse at the stage in order to see if there was a photo pit set up this night, which luckily it was. Both Battle Beast and Cyhra had a lot of merch for sale while I browsed, it was suddenly time for the first band to open the night.
“Gloria In Regum” opened the show, followed straight away by “Ride On, Spirit”. The tempo was set to “full speed” from the very start and the crowd seemed to appreciate what they heard. As so often at Kulturbolaget, the sound was great but the lights were very poor. “Chasing the Skyline” followed and the band members are:
Viktor Gullichsen – lead vocals
Joona Björkroth – guitar
Sean Haslam – guitar
Jarkko Niemi – bass
Patrik Fält – drums
The band comes from Helsinki, Finland and was formed 2006 under the name Lai Lai Hei after an Ensiferum song. The band won a competition and then changed their band name, their debut BREATHE FIRE TO THE SUN arrived in 2011 but this was my first experience with the band. Gullichsen thanked the audience before “Starportal” was the next song up. The band’s melodic death metal seemed to gain new fans in the club.
Even if the bands music didn’t do much for me, I can’t deny that the guys were skilled at their instruments and their material felt solid. Gullichsen asked if the crowd was starting to get warm now, and fired off a love song called “Wings of Fire”. He had the fans clapping their hands and then announced “For Those Who Died”, which was the last song for the night. As the band left the stage they had been up there for about 30 minutes and by now the time was 8 o clock.
As I said earlier, the band are skilled musicians, however the weakest link for me was the singer who needs to gain a little more confidence as front man. Their music didn’t appeal to me and didn’t raise my pulse notably.
Gloria In Regum
Ride On, Spirit
Chasing the Skyline
Wings of Fire
For Those Who Died
More people arrived to the club during the gear change and it was soon time for Swedish super group Cyhra to enter the Malmo stage. It wasn’t that long since the band performed in Malmo on the very same stage but people seemed eager to see the band in action once again. Unfortunately the band’s founder and guitarist Jesper Strömblad let the fans know via Facebook that he wasn’t going to be participating during this tour. Since the band didn’t have much gear with them the change of stuff went by pretty fast. At 8.15 the intro was heard and it was once again time for Cyhra to take on Malmo.
As soon the members came out the fans shouted from the top of their lungs as the show began with “Letter to Myself” and “Bye Bye Forever”. Singer Jake E thanked the fans for their support and asked how many in the club had bought the new album already. “Good to see that some of you have bought it, here is “Dreams Gone Wrong”, he said. On this tour, Cyhra consists of:
Jake E – lead vocals
Euge Valovirta – guitar
Alex Lundenburg – drums
Marcus Sunesson – guitar (session member)
Just like the last time I saw the band, they didn’t have a bass player on stage which felt (again) pretty weird. It takes away the spontaneous feeling that everything can happen when the band rely on a backing track. It was nice to hear that the band narrowed down the keyboard parts live and the music felt more edgy and raw. Jake E once again thanked for the support and fired off “I Am the One”. The band incorporated quite a few new songs in the set list which felt pretty bold, however that made it harder for fans to sing a long. Jake E asked how many in the club had attended their show three weeks ago and a few raised their hands. “Well, it’s great to see you again”, Jake E said, “here comes a song from the new album that we also played last time we were here, this is “Battle From Within”. The song has been out for a while with a really great video and lyrically it’s really important and tackles the issue of suicide. Please check out the video after reading this review, it’s a really important song that needs to be addressed.
It was time for a change of guitars when Jake E asked Landenburg what he thought of the night. “Lat time we were here, Alex wasn’t”, Jake E said, “he was out with his other band Kamelot. So, in “Karma” I want everyone to clap their hands!”, Jake E said and he had the fans scream along in the song. “Here To Save You” and “Man of Eternal Rain” followed and just as three weeks ago I was impressed by how solid Jake E is as frontman. He knew how to take on a crowd and made everyone have a good time and his voice was in great shape. The new songs impressed me big time and they felt strong live. “Can everyone shout ‘Out of My Way, Out of My Life’?”, Jake E asked and it was time for “Out Of My Life” which is the first single out from NO HALOS IN HELL. Jake E smiled as he thanked the fans for the support and with that song the show was over. After taking a band photo with the crowd in the background the guys left the stage and the fans after having delivered 40 minutes of some really strong songs.
I actually prefer listening to Cyhra’s music live as they’re more raw and edgy. Plus, it’s always a pleasure to see Jake E live in action. It was brave of the band to put so many new songs into the set list but I guess they were eager to see how the fans were going to react to the new material. Even though I missed hearing a live bass player, the show was great and and I really hope to see them again soon. If you haven’t yet seen Cyhra live, make sure to check them out if they’re coming to a club near you.
Letter To Myself
Bye Bye Forever
Dreams Gone Wrong
I Am The One
Battle From Within
Here To Save You
Man Of Eternal Rain
Out Of My Life
A big backdrop with the Battle Beast name came up on stage as the change of gear began making me think that the band was going to bring a lot of stuff on stage, but I was wrong. It was just the usual mic and amps, nothing more. It was the band’s first ever show in Malmo and a lot of people had arrived to the club. It wasn’t sold out, but it was definitely pretty full. After about 30 minutes of stage prep it was time for the headline act to come up.
“Unbroken” was the first song out and it lit up the fans. The excitement was palpable as the band met the fans and the show proceeded immediately with “Familiar Hell”. Singer Noora stood on the box set at the middle of the stage. Bass player Eero thanked the fans as Noora shouted it was time for “Straight to the Heart”. Battle Beast is:
Noora Louhimo – lead vocals
Juuso Soinio – guitar
Eero Sipilä – bass
Janne Björkroth – keytar
Joona Björkroth – guitar
Pyry Vikki – drums
It was a bit hard to take pictures because of the red and blue lights that kept shining on stage and as I exited the photo pit Noora said, “Hello Malmo, it’s great to be here tonight, the next song is called “Black Ninja!” That song really got the crowd going. Noora let the fans take care of parts of the lyrics and even though I’m not a huge fan of the band, I have to admit they’ve got catchy songs that are easy to sing along with. Noora asked if there were anyone in the crowd that longed for summer yet because “the summer is too short up here in Scandinavia. Let’s remember the past summer with “Endless Summer!”. At the end of the song she left the stage and it was time for Janne and Joona to do dueling keytar/guitar solos which were luckily kept short. “I Wish”, a ballad taken from the latest album followed, and again Noora left the stage as an intro played which lead into “Raise Your Fists”. Noora, now in a different outfit, had the fans shouting “hey hey” – she and the band really knew how to get the crowd going.
Noora said the band was having a great time on stage and hoped the fans could say the same. “Do you want to hear an uptempo song?” she asked, “well here is “The Golden Horde”. Noora really impressed as a front woman and band leader; the energy she showed was contagious and her voice was really great. As she thanked the crowd the fans chanted the band’s name. Eero said, “This is truly a Beast Pagan, thank you all again”. The drummer jumped down from behind his instrument and the keytarist sat behind a full keyboard which the drummer dragged around on stage while playing a song by Tomas Ledin (a very popular Swedish artist). Before it all was over the song turned into a schnapps tune and one of the members came out on stage with liquor pouring it up to the rest. Eero said the song sounded so good that he wanted to hear the fans sing it again which they did and the band members drank up. Finally, Noora came back on stage saying, “No, no, what are you guys up to? You can’t drink alcohol when you’re going to perform, stop it right now!”, she said and smiled. “Are you ready to jump with us?”, she asked as the band fired off “The Hero”.
Eero asked if the fans wanted to hear more music which they of course wanted. “The next song”, he said, “is about Vikings. When we toured in the States we told the fans over there that it was about them, but of course we lied, it’s about you here, here comes “Bastard Son of Odin!”. In the middle of the song Eero wanted to hear the fans sing and clap their hands and they readily obliged. “Thank you Malmo”, Noora said, “you’re making us really warm inside but I know you can scream even louder. Malmo are you ready to go “Out of Control”?”. She said the band had been in Karlstad performing the day before, the crowd booed, and said she wanted Malmo to overpower the Karlstad crowd. “Scream even louder for me! Let’s see if you can sing along with me in “Eden”, which is our last song for the night”. The fans sang along with her and the song ended about 70 minutes of some greatly executed Finnish heavy/power metal.
The crowd shouted for encores and the band rapidly came back with the title track of the new album. The encores continued with “King for a Day” and “Beyond the Burning Skies” which truly ended the show. A long outro ended the show and Noora once again thanked the fans for an amazing night together with the band. The band took a picture with the crowd and that ended almost 90 minutes of music.
Battle Beast surprised me in a positive way and I’m glad I went to see the show. The band really knew how to take on a crowd and make everyone feel good. If I compare Battle Beast with German act Beyond The Black which I also saw this Fall, I think Battle Beast are miles ahead when it comes to both performance and song-writing. The set list included a lot of songs from the new album and the one previous, maybe a few more older songs would have been nice but you can’t always get what you want. I don’t necessarily like the band’s genre much but I respect their song writing skills and their ability to put on a great show. This was another great night at Kulturbolaget which is the best rock club Scandinavia now and forever.