The glory days of Metal were the 80s, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash in North America and plenty of records abound that are cemented as classics from a prosperous era. But entering the cynical 2000s where everything has seemingly been done and new life is always yearned for, we get plenty of bands doing it retro. Some succeed in recapturing that 80s essence, others fail in miserable condition. But here we have Battle Beast's debut and surprisingly - the Finns have done it and have made an album of good old heavy metal with catchy riffs, heroic solos, synthesizer aplenty and powerful vocals. Battle Beast's debut may be a concept album of sorts, I don't think they'd care if it was, with the lyrics about death, war, mechanical entities, metal of various weights and heroic stuff all round.
One thing to note, this is a band which pulls no punches and is OTT to the max. So naturally it smells like cheese which never will die. But the band doesn't exactly take itself seriously from the name to the cover art to the songs themselves so no problem. It's meant to be over the top and the cheesiness of the overall product just adds to how enjoyable the record is. Seriously, if you get over the initially ridiculous lyrical and musical layering here then you get a really enjoyable, fun record of 80s style retro old fashioned heavy metal. Leading this band is none other than female vocalist (although this is hard to distinguish without confirmation at times) Nitte Valo. Wow, a Metal Titan to rival any male counterpart, she has it all, air raid siren, rapsing shouts and lungs that could rival Bruce Dickinson for capacity. Combining that with solid and epic backing from the other 5 members of the band who play flawlessly throughout and you have an epic of an album with power and cheese wafting through the casing.
So what we have at the end of the day is probably the cheesiest record in creation perhaps to revive Manowar's efforts, but it's a great, catchy and fun record with epic tracks like "Enter the Metal World", folk power with the synthesized "Band of the Hawk" with "Victory" a fitting epic close to a magnificent, perhaps insane album which reaches new depths of ridiculously epic. But what's the point of living if all must be complicated and serious eh? For those who just wish to leave behind the genre's complexity for something retro, fun and ridiculous, OTT and a sonic joy throughout, then this is an album for you. Enjoy!
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