BATTLE BEAST - Bringer Of Pain
March 20, 2017, a month ago
On the surface, a review is sort of akin to a gourmet explanation of cotton candy, unnecessary. You either enjoy the tasty mess, or don't. Like the demonstrative tornado she is onstage, singer Noora Louhimo picks up pieces of one Finnish band and scatters them amongst another, to create a new landscape: bits of Synergy infused into Nightwish. The fourth full length is nowhere near as melodic death/thrash as the former outfit, nor anywhere as near as majestic as the latter. Most label Battle Beast “power metal” (on this album I won't), for the typically upbeat anthems, but there's also a strong sense of late ‘80s Heart pop melodies (or maybe their Scandic neighbors, Abba) throughout these ten tracks (expanded version includes a trio of bonuses, with “God Of War” being the only memorable offering, stronger than a number of album inclusions!). On a completely different tip, the slower/mid-tempo “Lost In Wars” features a guest appearance by Amorphis' Tomi Joutsen. Louhimo (sorry still can't get past the John Candy on SCTV plays Divine make-up) is both forceful (screeching!) and demure. Guess which fits her personality better? Hint, the “Born to kick your ass” lyric in “Bastard Son Of Odin” rings true.
A beefy “Straight To The Heart”, complete with banshee wail, kicks things off in fine fashion, Louhimo's gritty belt carries the infectious beat. The short title cut is like-minded, but starting with “King For A Day”, can almost see the dance moves. Ditto the bass heavy disco of aptly entitled saccharine “Dancing With The Beast”. Amaranthe, what hath thou wrought? Cooing female voice, to begin, seems out of place on the fist thrusting stomper “We Will Fight”. While staccato, “Beyond The Burning Skies” is one of those Nightwish influenced numbers, there's still a jazzy, movie soundtrack (is that Kenny G?) for the piano accompanied “Far From Heaven”, which closes the proper album. After a promising start, limps to easy listening conclusion. Disappointing!