Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Beast in Black prove they are THE upcoming band with an incredible showstopping performance.
I have to admit to having not seen either of these bands before which is very unusual but I was blown away by both.
How I have managed to miss Firewind to date amazes me as they have been on the go since 1998. I am of course aware of them mostly through Gus G’s time in Ozzy.
The show was kicked off by Jahan Nunez climbing on top of his drums and looking for a reaction from the crowd which quickly came as the rest of the band took the stage.
Once all members were on the stage they burst into “Welcome to the Empire” and instantly you are aware of Gus G’s credentials as he flashes over his fretboard until Herbie Langhans takes us to new heights with his vocals.
The song shifts from a proggish opening to a pure beast of a track and at the back Johan is battering the living daylights out of his kit. If there is an option to go for delicate tinkering of the skins he says fuck that shit, I am going to smash it…he is a monster up there.
Next up is “I am the Anger” and it does what it says on the tin. It is brutal, it is fast and it is packed out with incredible musicianship. It is followed up with “Head up High” and I am totally mesmerised by this band.
The quality is so good I don’t know who to watch. Johan is killing it at the back, Petros Christodoulidis is the calming force on bass and Herbie’s vocals are clean and crisp which can only be expected of an Avantasia singer and then you have the sheer wizardry of Gus.
This wizardry is taken to a whole new level on “Destination Forever” as Gus has a touch sensitive fretboard which lights up as he flicks up and down and it was like watching a championship final on guitar hero. My brain cannot even fathom the rate of work never mind the talent. It was utter jaw dropping to behold.
As we dance from song to song the crowd are 100% behind the band and all know we are watching something very, very special.
To make things even more special we finish up with a song that I would never have expected as they play a cover of Miachael Sembello and “Maniac” and although I am obviously too metal to recognise at first once that chorus kicked in I am like what the hell is this dark magic and although I am in no way going to dance the feet just wont stop tapping the little buggers.
What a way to close out the show as we get a super poppy number ripped a new one and metalised beyond belief and in one song Firewind are summed up. A total surprise, an amazing journey and pure enjoyment.
I had no idea what to expect from Beast in Black but even if I had expectations they were likely to have been obliterated. The intro of Shock to the Systems starts to build and as it finishes and the theme from Terminator takes over the curtains are taken off the pods to reveal half bodied, naked female androids and with this and the huge drum riser I have no idea how they would have fitted this all into the originally booked Cathouse.
This is just the build up and I am already bouncing before the band take to the stage, the keyboard tracking tape kicks in and off we go with “Blade Runner” and as the three guitarists come together and get into their synchronised dancing I cannot help myself, I am smiling from ear to ear.
Next up is “Eternal Fire” and with its Final Countdown feel the tempo is nearly as high as Yannis Papadopoulaos’s voice. These boys know how to put on a show but they do it with huge smiles on their faces and pockets full of talent.
As the almost poppy synths of “Die by the Blade” kick in Yannis has all the males present straining their testicles trying to hit the highs. I take the time to look around and the audience are going crazy and the most pleasing thing to see is the youth are out in their numbers and this sold out venue is bouncing. I have not seen a crowd reaction like this in some time and this show has definitely burst straight into my top 5 gigs in this venue.
For a band with just three albums we get a huge set list of 19 songs and I would have been at the end if they had played every song they had ever done they were that impressive. Highlights were so many I could just list every song but “Re-vengeance Machine ” with it’s spoken intro and amazing guitar work, “Fifth Angel”, “Crazy, Mad, Insane” and the unbelievable “Beast in Black” took the night to extreme heights.
After the band left the stage and the Glasgow crowd screamed its usual here we go mantra the boys were not done with us yet. A three song encore combo that knocked the hell out of the crowd. The Priest esche “Cry Out for a Hero” goes full tilt and has the band working us like a band that has been at the top for decades and they keep the boot on our throats on “One Night in Tokyo” and what a track, every member is on fire and I can see why there as so many youngsters here tonight as this brings in the pop, techno and hard core.
A genius plot and the night is closed out with “The End of the World” and if it was I would be happy for this to be my last live show.
Beast in Black are the real deal and I can see a huge future ahead of them. They will not be playing venues this size again.
They have got it all, The Priest dual guitars and high pitched screams, the grandiose of a Maiden stage show, the cheese of Gloryhammer and Alestorm and some incredible musicians along with four android boobies, what is not to like?
The future of metal has arrived and it is a Beast in Black.
BEAST IN BLACK released their latest studio album Dark Connection last year. Grab a copy/listen to the record HERE.
BEAST IN BLACK is:
Yannis Papadopoulos | vocals
Mate Molnar | bass
Atte Palokangas | drums
Kasperi Heikkinen | guitars
Anton Kabanen | guitars, vocals
Stream ‘Moonlight Rendezvous’: https://bfan.link/moonlight-rendezvou…
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