Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Battle Beast – `Unholy Saviour' review by Rhys Turner


Following an excellent year of touring, Finnish metallers Battle Beast are back with their new album Unholy Saviour. The second album with Noora Louhimo providing the vocals, Unholy Saviour takes a slightly different approach to their previous albums in that there is more variety in the songs.

The opening track Lionheart is a good track to open with as it incorporates all the elements from the rest of the album into one song. A song that will go down a treat at gigs, with the powerful ‘LIONHEART’ being shouted by fans, it’s a good mixture of riffs, shattering drums and powerful vocals, with enough keyboard to keep it interesting.

Next up is the title track Unholy Saviour. Opening with the hauntingly beautiful keyboards that lead us into the main riff of the song, it then becomes almost ballad like, with slow soft vocals. This however is a brief change when it becomes heavier until right at the very end when it slows down for just a quick moment before ending in a powerful high.

I want the world... And everything in it is the next song, and is definitely one of the heaviest if the heaviest song in the album. With powerful screaming vocals, brilliant guitar riffs and superb drumming, this is a song that harks back to early metal. Plus, the opening Scarface quote works wonderfully.

Madness is power metal, simple as that. Along with its some what... stimulating video shall we say, it is a song that fans of previous albums will love. A good sing-a-long song, along with Lionheart, it contains my favourite guitar riff on the album. Sea of Dreams is a vastly different song to anything else on the album. A slow ballad, it allows Battle Beast to show off their other, calmer side whilst still retaining the things that make up the band.

Because one rapid change in musical direction wasn’t enough, Speed and Danger take us right back to the heavier side of Battle Beast. With riffs that border on thrashing, drumming that just won’t stop and aggressive screaming vocals, it still retains the keyboards and general feel of its power metal roots.

Now to the most controversial song, Touch in the Night. Sounding more like a pop ballad from the 80’s, this song shows once again how versatile this band can be. Whilst fans of the first two albums may not look kindly upon it, it is still a good song and Janne Björkroth’s keyboard playing is simply sublime.

The next two songs, The Black Swordsman and Hero’s Quest, go hand in hand, with the former being a sort of opener for the latter. Whilst The Black Swordsman is acousticly driven, whilst Hero’s Quest is purely instrumental, with the keyboard making you feel like you’re about to embark on an epic journey. 

Far Far Away gives one the feeling that you’re listening to an old school NWOBHM, with the opening reminding me of something by Iron Maiden. It ends the album on a high before the final track Angel Cry sends us on our way with its soothing serenading sounds. 

This is a great album for fans old and new, with a fantastic variety of song styles.

8.7/10

Track Listing

1. Lionheart

2. Unholy Saviour

3. I want the world…and everything in it

4. Madness

5. Sea of dreams

6. Speed and danger

7. Touch in the night

8. The black swordsman

9. Hero’s quest

10. Far Far away

11. Angel cry

Official Website http://www.battlebeast.fi/