Beast In Black – “Beserker” (Nuclear Blast)
Well, why complain when you can have two beasts instead of just one…? With much made of Anton Kabanen’s dismissal from Battle Beast, he has since taken stock, recruited his own band and judging by this amazing release, returned with an absolute vengeance! Given Battle Beast’s first 3 albums were written by Kabanen (and indeed the reason for his split was the desire of the other members to participate in the composing), it should give you an idea of what Beast In Black is all about: the continuing vision of that band as written by Kabanen’s hand – but even more pumped to the max! Recruiting an absolute star of a soprano in Yannis Papadopoulos (Wardrum) and backed by guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen (U.D.O.), Máté Molnar (Wisdom) on bass and drummer Sami Hänninen (Brymir), Kabanen has found the veterans to back him on taking this quest forward, right down to the artwork provided by Battle Beast artist Roman Ismailov – not mention the very name of this project ha ha! With an overwhelming wave of super catchy songs with over powering melody played through superior musicianship and some truly breathtaking virtuoso guitar work from Kabanen himself, “Beserker” is a top notch debut already setting its sights on becoming album of the year! Right from the off the Manowar / Priest inspired thundering warrior hymn of ‘Berserker’ stirs your blood into glorious passion with its ultra catchy power riff and double bass drumming as Papadopoulos goes beyond Eric Adams and Bob Halford to hit his own screaming highs! If that didn’t make my jaw drop then his tender girlie tones (and I’m not kidding) on the epic passion of ‘Blind And Frozen’ will no doubt have his female counterparts turning their heads as he delivers yet another irresistible chorus. Honestly, the man is a star!!!! Going right into Freedom Call power metal mode comes ‘Eternal Fire’ with the symphonics blasting you into heavenly bliss while contrasted by the tender closing ballad of ‘Ghost In The Rain’, oozing with emotion through its heartfelt (warrior) passion. If Kabanen truly wanted retribution on his former band mates along with showing the world his capability then “Beserker” does so without any question as it’s simply off the scale!!!!