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Battle Beast - Bringer of Pain

Battle Beast – Bringer of Pain 

CD Info
Nuclear Blast Records
10 tracks
English lyrics

One of my most anticipated albums of 2017 comes out February 17, Battle Beast’s fourth release, Bringer of Pain. I have loved this band since they debuted, initially with a different singer, but since Noora Louhimo took over the helm, they have just gotten better-sounding and far more charismatic. I will be forthright and up front and admit I am a bit of a Noora fangirl; I love her stage style, her make-up, and I love the persona she portrays. I follow her on most social media and am constantly entertained, and I think she is one of the most interesting personalities on the female fronted metal scene.

Battle Beast is known for melodic metal with a huge slice of 80s glam/hair metal cheese baked in for good measure. With Noora’s signature throaty vocal style, no one sounds quite like them; they are a unique entity. With Bringer of Pain, they channel not only their inner 80s influences, but also a very healthy dose of 80s pop and even some ABBA-esque vibes, making for a fun, rollicking release that I am pretty sure will be on my top 10 list at the end of the year.

Bringer of Pain has got to be one of the most consistently catchy records I’ve heard in years – perhaps since the release of Within Temptation’s The Unforgiving. After my multiple spins of the CD, I now have several of their choruses stuck in my brain, and I find myself humming them randomly throughout the day.

We start off with “Straight To The Heart”, which I will have to admit to finding the weakest song on the album - a little disappointing for me personally because I put a lot of importance on the first song. But it immediately got better with track two, the title track, “Bringer of Pain,” featuring a brilliantly fast guitar solo. And that is one element of the Battle Beast sound that is very impressive throughout the whole album – the guitar work is spectacular.

“King For A Day” is track three, and it’s the first single off the album, and it has a pretty entertaining video as well. This is one of the strongest songs on the album and has a definite anthemic feel. In fact, the word “anthemic” could be used to describe several of the songs on Bringer of Pain, and this is something Battle Beast does very well now, which says a lot about their songwriting abilities. “Beyond Burning Skies” is also very anthemic, and it shows off the versatility of Noora’s voice as well. This woman has pipes! She can do a pop vocal with the best of them, she can coo and croon and be very gentle, and she can also kill it with that signature throatiness I mentioned above.

“Familiar Hell” is another one of my favourites, and it was the second song the band released to the public, complete with a video. “Lost In Wars” has a heavy intro and a slower tempo, creating an ominous atmosphere. A deep voice narrates the lyrics in the verses and then Noora comes in on the choruses. This is a dark, heavy song that is still catchy and highly effective.

Other outstanding songs include the very fun “Bastard Son Of Odin” which again fits that anthemic description, and has very notable 80s synths going on in it. And then there is “Dancing With The Beast”. This is by far the most unique song on the album because not only is it a bit softer sounding than the rest of the songs, but it also has a very cool ABBA vibe to it. You can just see the disco ball casting its fragmenting lights all over the place when you play this track. I love it!

The finale of the album is also notable because it’s another soft song – almost a ballad, in fact. It’s called “Far From Heaven” and it’s a real cool down after a hard and heavy workout delivered by the previous songs. Again, Noora sounds amazing and displays her versatility.

Battle Beast has really come up with a winning formula with Bringer of Pain. The songwriting is tight, consistent, and shows immense talent by whoever does the composing. It takes a lot of talent to write this many catchy songs for an album, but somehow, it was a brilliant success. On top of Noora’s great vocal performance, and the guitar work performed by Joona Björkroth and Juuso Soinio, I also have to give a huge shout out to Battle Beast’s keyboardist, Janne Björkroth, who acquits himself amazingly with not only his fancy finger work, but also his retro 80s synth sounds that make Battle Beast so unique and almost chameleon-like in their ability to create these vibes consistently, yet keep each and every song unique and able to stand alone as a distinct piece of work. Battle Beast is a winning package, but far from a formulaic wonder. Their continued success and increasing popularity speaks for itself. In fact, their uniqueness and success has earned them a spot on a major North American tour, opening for Sabaton and Leaves’ Eyes later on this spring. They are coming to Vancouver and I am so looking forward to seeing this band live, and getting all fangirly about Noora in person!