Battle Beast – Unholy Savior (2015)
Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth
Battle Beast claims to be a female-fronted Finnish heavy/power metal sextet from Finland, and it stirred a lot of attention due to its signing with renowned German metal label Nuclear Blast. That label then immediately started to massively hype and promote the band’s third studio record Unholy Savior. Let’s try to take a look beyond the hype.
Let’s make something clear right from the start: I like heavy metal, power metal, and pop music of the eighties. Battle Beast offers a mixture of these styles. Still, this band isn’t worth the hype and I would even call their new record plain awful. What’s the problem?
On a forum, somebody compared Battle Beast’s music to a heavier version of pop artist Sandra. This comparison actually comes quite close. The differences are that Sandra had an enchanting voice, and that her music had a unique atmosphere due to the influence of her Romanian husband and producer Michael Cretu (who is the mastermind behind the electronic new age project Enigma). Battle Beast’s frontwoman Noora Louhimo sounds like a cringeworthy mixture of Doro (in the heavier moments of the record) and Lucylectric (in the softer parts). The musicianship is even worse. The artificial keyboards play an important role on this album and might sound too fluffy even for fans of the “softest” power metal bands like early Sonata Arctica. Some keyboard sounds are also surprisingly close to Alestorm. The drums and percussion are mixed powerlessly, and sound even more artificial than exchangeable floorfillers on party islands like Ibiza and Mallorca. The guitar play lacks any of its own identity, and most of the riffs seem to be taken from contemporary Nightwish and Sabaton songs (if you can even say that those bands riff). The bland and stereotypical lyrics call to mind Manowar’s ridiculous and closed-minded attitude. The cheesy cover artwork is the cherry on the cake. While nearly all songs sound plain awful, the worst case is “Touch In The Night”, which sounds like a mixture of a casting pop song and exchangeable elevator music. This combination rehashes music that already sounded dated thirty years ago in a horrible way. What the band has done to W.A.S.P.’s anthem “Wild Child” on the Japanese edition of this coaster comes in as a close second place on my list of the worst tracks around.
Now, let’s talk about the positive elements. First of all, the songs all have a commercial touch. Each track could be a potential hit single if it had been released thirty years earlier. Second and last, the tracks are so catchy that they will either haunt you in your nightmares or can be used to bawl shamefully along to after consuming three cases of Coors Light. These elements are worth half a point each which explains my generous final rating score.
Why did Nuclear Blast sign this band? It’s probably because of a mixture of an unhealthy nostalgia trip and the fact that the singer looks cute. Some might now claim that I listen to bands such as Babymetal, which mix pop and metal music, and that I should therefore like this band. These people are all wrong. In comparison to Battle Beast, Babymetal offers a diverse, exciting, and fresh mixture of many different genre elements in addition to original choreographies, concerts, and lyrics with a dose of unique charm and charisma. Plus, they are still teenagers. Battle Beast sounds like Modern Talking meets Freedom Call. I haven’t heard something so bad in quite some time now. Do yourself a favor and forget this band immediately after reading my review.
1.0 // 5