"It's not every day I get my hands on such an amazing slab of Power Metal goodness. So when that happens, the albums tends to make a special impact, and what an impact the band's second album makes, and almost instantly (more on that later). This is my first exposure from this band, and I will revisit their debut soon. From what I understand, this album features new female singer Noora Louhimo, in replacement of the Nitte Vänskä.
The album starts with the best song on the album, and after 10-15 seconds you know from the guitar melody, that you will love this album, even before Noora starts singing. While the bombastic guitar powered intro to this song is ultra catchy its also recognizable, I couldn't say exactly if it reminds me of Sonata Arctica or Thunderstone, but I get the feeling I know these notes from another band, nevertheless after the intro the song starts rather calmly to arrive to the mind-blowing chorus, and the song name Let It Roar, makes perfect sense as Noora truly ROARS that chorus like a lion, in a voice that reminds me of AC/DC, U.D.O. (or Accept when Udo was still the front man) and W.A.S.P. all at once ! The screams/roars are executed to perfection (to tell you the truth on this song they are the best I've ever heard, period !) and still send shivers down my spine even if I must have listened to this song at least 100 times by now. Upon my first listen I wondered how the band could do ANYTHING after that song that would make any sort of impact. Sure Let it Roar is the best song of the album, heck it's the best song of 2013 so far, and an instant entry into my (virtual) list of all-times best song. But the thing is the album is full of surprises and even if no other song tops it, they are all of such high quality, masterfully crafted Power Metal with powerful riffing, great soloing, and absolutely amazing vocals that my initial fear quickly vanished in the course of my first listen.
The production is crystal clear, powerful and definitely on par with the best of them. Vocals need to be underlined, the range of voices and abilities Noora brings to the table makes it that no other song feels the same, and there is little repetition throughout. One could say Battle Beast suffers the same formulaic similarities with bands like Powerwolf or Sabaton, but I find they are actually more able to tackle a wider variety of songs, even one that seems simple at first, then grows over time (and repeats), with a variety and mastery at every level (vocals, guitars, keys & rhythm section) that the album feels near perfect.
My favorite songs, if I must choose (as it's not that easy), would be Let it Roar, Out of Control, Neuromancer (reminds me of Nightwish), Raven, Machine Revolution, Kingdom, Black Ninja & Rain Man. But it's important to note that the entire album is extremely solid, and never do I feel the need to hit the next button. Even the little instrumental track Golden Age is a great little interlude to calm things down in the middle of the album, only to take back things where they were left off... The bonus track Shutdown is also a great song, maybe not as good as those mentioned as my favorites, but better than some others on the album.
I cannot underline how strong this power metal album (and band) is, there's no question in my mind that this will be on my surprise of the year list, and baring another bigger surprise, I see it on the top spot. The passion with which the bands plays and mixes all styles of heavy and power metal alike makes it a great all-rounded, highly addictive and catchy as well as perfectly finished (up to the excellent artwork) product ! If you like bands like Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, Sabaton or Powerwolf but also the Heavy metal classics like AC/DC & Accept, then you have to listen to Battle Beast (immediately I must add) : power metal at its best ! My favorite album this year (with Pretty Maids & Stratovarius) and a band which career I will definitely keep a close eye on. If Power Metal is your game, then Battle Beast is the name, period!" - Metal Reviews