Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Roaring across the icy wastelands of Finland, Battle Beast move at the speed of an out-of-control freight train and hit just as hard.
The sextet has continued to rapidly grow in stature since first forming in 2005, refining their power metal attack over the course of a number of critically acclaimed albums and release number six, ‘Circus of Doom’ sees them at their fiery best.
A mix of their heavy duty riffing and hugely melodic core, the ten tracks on display here could well be their most commercially accessible yet and see them making the truly global breakthrough they’ve always been destined for.
Kicking off with the title track, ‘Circus of Doom’ is a full-blooded pounder that highlights the enormous riffs of lead guitarist Joona Björkroth and the huge, gutsy vocals of Noora Louhimo, the sound a veritable tsunami of metal.
It isn’t all just a brutal assault on the senses as the band manage to tap into the innate song writing sensibility that made ABBA the global megastars they are, the balance one that oddly works perfectly.
Following this with the heroic ‘Wings of Light’ lifts things even higher, the blitzkrieg of Pyry Vikki’s drums and sweeping keys of Janne Björkroth an irresistible force, the melodic guitar solo a euphoric delight.
‘Master of Illusion’, ‘Where Angels Fear To Fly’ and ‘Eye of the Storm’ pile in like a rush of adrenaline, filled with grandiose sweep and some breath-taking musicianship as their turbocharged power lifts you away.
Not slowing down, it’s only a matter of time before ‘Russian Roulette’ inspires and soundtracks a big budget Hollywood action movie, the Eurometal sensibility keying in perfectly for the ultimate high-octane blast.
As with Evanescence and numerous others who have gone down this route in the past, such an opportunity could open the market hugely for the Helsinki metallers but it’s only a matter of time that, irrespective of the power of multiplex, silver screen marketing, the band win over through sheer force.
The band, also including the additional layers brought by bass player Eero Sipilä and the rhythm guitar of Juuso Soinio, have obviously bonded well over the years, the Valkyrie-like presence of Louhimo the icing on the cake.
This balance of personalities and their highly addictive blend of muscle and melody has paid dividends and the closing quartet of ‘Freedom’, ‘The Road to Avalon’, ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Place That We Call Home’ hammers home the point.
With a European tour looming, including a raft of dates in the UK, it’s going to be huge release for a band used to playing in front of massive audiences and in ‘Circus of Doom’ they’ve got yet more huge anthems to add to their already bristling arsenal. Battle Beast are coiled and ready to take on all comers and it looks like they’re unstoppable now.
FOLLOW BATTLE BEAST: http://battlebeast.fi
Dates & tickets: http://battlebeast.fi/tour