Beast In Black, a name unfamiliar with too most, yet Anton Kabanen may not be. Anton parted ways with previous band Battle Beast in 2015, it wasn’t too long until he decided to commence with a new challenge.
Having already made their live debut, not as some pub band or trailing around the tiny venues of back water holes, they supported Nightwish.
So on to their debut album, entitled `Berserker’, does it bear any hallmarks of the Battle Beast sound or has Anton moved off into a new direction?
The album opens with the band’s self-titled track `Beast In Black` and in full fashion it kicks in with full on blasting Power Metal, the song really does inform you of how the rest of the album is set to go.
The song is incredibly bombastic all round, `Beast In Black` utilizes intricate guitar sections which repeats to keep an element of melodic simplicity, it brings in high soaring vocals which recite those grand epic tales of beasts, dragons and brave heroes, which yes really does typify all the major aspects of Power Metal. Yes it’s a little clichéd but its fun and really that’s the point.
`Blind And Frozen’ is a particularly interesting example of where Power Metal can sit within metal, although the song still sticks to a specific structure within Power Metal, it does show off how there can be a softer side and less energetic guitar work. It’s far simpler and definitely with the vocals of Yannis it’s perfect for those huge arenas and massive festivals. If this band gets their break, we should expect a killer live show from this lot.
Most Power Metal albums will contain a song that’s less balls out bombastic and far more acoustically lead, think Blind Guardian’s `Bard’s Song’. Well without missing a beat on hitting every cliché on the Power Metal check list, Beast In Black hands us `Ghost In The Rain`. This opens with chimes, reverb and acoustic guitars; it’s a nice slow down from a rather speedy album. Perhaps on a future album, coupling Yannis vocals with a female pairing would be incredible to hear. This song is definitely a lighter in the air moment.
Beast in Black’s debut album is as power metal as you can get, through and through. With hell of a lot of widdley guitar solos and varied uses of the keyboard to create atmosphere litter throughout `Berserker` along with absolutely nut crunching high pitched vocals.
Its songs are all very upbeat, choruses very bombastic and ultimately designed for the massive crowds at Wacken to belt out when rip rousingly drunk.
Yes it’s not exactly straying from the formula of what Power Metal is but above all else it’s meant to be FUN!
If you love bands like Blind Guardian, Battle Beast or pretty much anything that has emanated from our European cousins in terms of Power Metal then this is most definitely right up your castle path.
8/10 – Berserker keeps to the path well trod but fun none the less.
Stand out tracks:
`Blind And Frozen`, `Zodd The Immortal` and `Ghost In The Rain’
1. Beast In Black
2. Blind And Frozen
3. Blood Of A Lion
4. Born Again
5. Zodd The Immortal
6. The Fifth Angel
7. Crazy, Mad, Insane
8. Eternal Fire
9. End Of The World
10. Ghost In The Rain
Beast In Black online: