Battle Beast – Steel
Who says metal has to be complicated and intricate? Not Battle Beast, I can tell you. Their name suggests that it was composed at random from the Dictionary of Metal Clichés, and their debut album is titled Steel (which even Manowar was never clever enough to think of). These Finnish boys and kickass singer girl get their mustard from various old school titans such as Grave Digger and Running Wild, but are also reminiscent of modern day retroact The Poodles. So expect lyrics that make little to no sense, but feature the words “metal” and “steel” with unsettling frequency.
If anything keeps Battle Beast from being too silly it’s their complete lack of pretense. When you open a record with a song called “Enter The Metal World” (of doom) you pretty much abandon logic and reason for shouting and headbanging. And why the hell not? The whole thing and everything that follows is so stupendously catchy that by the third listen you’ll be able to yell along even without the full lyrics. Just fill in “metal” and “steel” where you can’t think of the correct word, and you’ll probably be right anyway. While the opener is a straightforward rocker, Battle Beast deserves credit for messing with the formula. Most songs are simple stompers with “Justice And Metal” being one of the more fun tracks on offer, others have a smidgeon more ambition. “Band Of The Hawk” is an appropriately heroic tune and closer “Victory” is easily the best song, boasting not one but two memorable and soaring choruses.
Steel is comprised mostly of the sort of metal worship that most Teutonic bands would swap their chains and leather for. The heavy metal anthem has been tried recently by Gamma Ray (“To The Metal”), Helloween (“Are You Metal?”) and Iron Savior (“Heavy Metal Never Dies”) and while those tracks are all decent to great in their own right, they don’t hold a candle to the sheer enthusiasm of Battle Beast. Are the young’uns taking over from the old geezers? Might very well be. In a landscape were crowd-pleasing bands like Sabaton and Powerwolf rise to power, Battle Beast might very well find its own place among the stars and based on this evidence, I wouldn’t deny them any of it. As long as they keep things ballsy and punchy, I’ll cheer them along. Also: Metal and steel! It had to be said.
Arno Callens’ Rating: 4.0 out of 5