Straight from Finland, Battle Beast could be the bastard child of Manowar and Abba. In just a few years, they've conquered the world of power metal, adding a touch of pop and a welcome freshness. But don't worry purists, Battle Beast don't lose sight of the underworld, and they know how to deliver big, speedy, amphetamine-fueled sounds with powerful riffs and pounding rhythms.
And the second trump card of this band that turns heads and unleashes the thickest hairs is Noora Louhimo. A scotchy, sometimes rocky voice that masters lyrical flights like no other, delivering catchy refrains to match. There's a definite Nightwish feel to this heavy sound, which veers unblinkingly towards hard FM.
The music is heavy and hard as can be, but carried by the grace of their singer, it's as if Battle Beast were delivering uppercuts in a silk glove. Noora knows how to show her teeth or caress the audience. She knows how to sublimate melodies that lean towards the 80s, and synth lines that are sometimes as kitsch as they are effective.
The result is music in the form of a guilty pleasure that calls for grandiloquence. An exuberance that can be felt and seen in the band's stage costumes and pyrotechnic effects. And a sometimes pompous power metal that emerges forcefully from the clichés while keeping both feet firmly planted in the ground.
Battle Beast was born in chilly Helsinki. Founded in 2008, the band released several EPs before taking part in the 2010 Wacken open Air Metal Battle, a contest they won hands down. It has to be said that their nostalgic power metal, sprinkled with just the right amount of disco and pop, appeals to an audience looking for something fresh and new in a style whose codes have long been established.
With their debut album, Steel, the band caught the ear of Nightwish, who recognized this nugget in the making and invited them to accompany them on the Imaginaerum European Tour in 2012. For Battle Beast, it's a consecration, and the audience on the Old Continent discovers on stage the ardor, talent and incomparable voice of Nitte Valo on vocals. However, she left the band once the tour was over. And while fans wondered who would replace this near-goddess, it was an unknown power metal singer who took over with brio. Noora Louhimo takes everyone by surprise, as she seems to take on her predecessor's songs so effortlessly, with a power and talent of which she has nothing to be ashamed.
Record after record, Battle Beast went from opening act to headliner. Boldness and creativity pay off. In 2019, they release No More Hollywood Endings, where they surprise with their catchy heaviness and polished power ballads. And in 2022, they present Circus of Doom at the legendary Hellfest! Some headbangers are sure to have come away with aches and pains, and are eagerly awaiting their next appearance.
I discovered Battle Beast at Hellfest and, frankly, they're the band power metal needed. They have all the codes, but don't hesitate to twist them. We were even treated to a disco interlude, perhaps a reference to Abba? In any case, the singer carries their music with class, charisma and a voice that any singer could envy!
They've had to fight hard to get where they are, and that's certainly what gives Battle Beast the powerful rage that ignores the critics. Whether they're too daring or not daring enough, journalists will always have something to say, but what speaks to them is the frenzied crowd that goes wild over their symphonic flights of fancy and their refrains that get into spinning heads. And that's no mistake! And judging by the number of necks unscrewed in concert, the band is far from finished exploring the intricacies of power metal.
If we had to use a single word to describe the evolution of La Bête de Guerre, it would be Symphonique. But for one thing, it's not quite that simple, since this is their most varied opus to date, and for another, the term isn't nearly precise enough. When it's just a question of orchestrations reinforcing the epic side of Unbroken, it works so well that it seems almost self-evident.