Finland’s Battle Beast continue to impress and entertain on album number three.
Band: Battle Beast
Album: Unholy Savior
Label: Nuclear Blast
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: If you don’t think metal should be fun, if you subscribe to the belief that metal songs should all be gloomy, downtuned tales of death and mutilation, to be honest Battle Beast probably aren’t going to be your cup of tea. If however, you like uplifting, heartfelt, classic heavy metal, with a hint of power and a dash of 80’s pop (that’s right!) then step aboard, you’re in for the ride of your life.
Unholy Savior is the third album from the Helsinki based six-piece, and their second with vocal powerhouse Noora Louhimo fronting the band. It follows 2013’s self-titled release; a massively enjoyable slab of traditional metal in itsself, and uses this as a foundation to build upon.
Opening track ‘Lionheart’ kicks things off in a typically bombastic fashion; duelling guitars, keys and a suitably catchy chorus. It’s also the closest thing to straight up power metal on the record, which may prove useful when drawing in the uninitiated on their first listen.
Where this album does differ from it’s predecessor, is the inclusion of a couple of ballads While some may see this as a negative thing, they provide the best showcase for Louhimo’s stunning vocal range and power. Yes, instrumentally the album is also fantastic, but the vocals really are the crowning glory.
In terms of song higlight, it’s very difficult to pick individual tracks on an album of such high quality. Having said this, if you can listen to track three: ‘I Want the World… And Everything in it’, and not have it stuck in your head for days afterwards, you clearly have no soul. The 80’s nostalgia trip of ‘Touch In The Night’ may prove a bit too much for some of the band’s more “True Metal” fans, but this infectious keys-led number will get the better of anyone who is more open minded when it comes to their music.
The final two tracks consist of ‘Far Far Away’; a pure unashamed dose of Iron Maiden worship, and one of the afore-mentioned ballads ‘Angel Cry’. Which has a bit of a movie song feel to it, this is not to it’s detriment, as it is a well written and extremely moving piece.
A truly fantastic start to 2015, Unholy Savior does everything Battle Beast‘s previous album did, and more. Be on the look out for big things from this band.
Words – Alex Loach