Formerly of the Finnish power metal Show Me How To Die monster Battle Beast, lead guitarist Anton Kabanen founded Beast in Black in 2015. Gathering Greek vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos (Wardrum), Kasperi Heikkinen on rhythm guitar (Amberian Dawn, U.D.O), bassist Mate Molnar (Wisdom) and Sami Hänninen their 2017 debut Berserker raised more than a few ripples. Returning with ‘that difficult second album’ and Atte Palokangas on drums, they seem to have upped their 80’s kitsch level exponentially! In so doing, creating quite possibly one of the most uplifting albums to be released this year. Growing their fanbase even further with their Nightwish support slot in late 2018, then dropping this beast of euphoric-euro-power-metal a matter of weeks later – 2019 may well be the year for Beast in Black.
Each and every track is epic in its delivery and I grinned for the entirety of the album. No one needs hear of my dancing on repeated listens. But I dare you, yes YOU to keep still while listening. There are synths, blistering guitar solos with majestic sweeps and dives, throbbing bass, solid melodies, disco beats and high pitched male vocals. We’re talking Kiss’s I Was Made For Loving You disco, rather than Jackson 5 or the Bee Gees. Seriously, this is marvelous, the best elements of 80’s retro metal combined with modern rock sensibilities and production. Think Kenny Loggins meets Judas Priest!
From Hell With Love opens with Hi- NRG synths reminiscent of The Transformers: The Movie (the animated 1986 work of genius, rather than the Michael Bay travesties), heavy guitars, falsetto vocals and a driving rhythm. This is Cry Out For A Hero and it’s fast-paced, melodic and as catchy as a cold at this time of year and far more pleasant! From Hell With Love , our title track commences with an up-tempo synth introduction that screams disco, before a pace change as guitars take the lead. It’s an anthemic slab of cheese, to be consumed delightedly by vegans and non-vegans alike! Leading us into the deliciously powerful, AOR orientated Sweet True Lies with its classy pitch changes. Check out the video here
Repentless is the most fast paced and brutal of the tracks and the vocal delivery is far more aggressive with a fantastic, staccato style of chorus delivery. Die By The Blade could have easily appeared on an early Bon Jovi album (melodically, certainly not lyrically), the keyboards are sublime with wailing vocals and guitars. Now every 80’s rock album worth its salt has its power ballad, I used to often skip through or try to ignore this (skipping a track on a cassette used to be far harder, but I could be very dedicated to the cause.) Oceandeep, the midpoint song is the longest of tracks and should not be ignored. Opening with elegant and poignant flutes in an epic Highlander soundtrack style, accompanied by a the dulcet tones of a finger-picked acoustic guitar, synth swells and a hint of tubular bells. Softly sang, with a chorus of monumental proportions and a percussive heartbeat, the song builds to a captivating and staggering high before gently setting you back to earth. Then we’re back to Survivor-style anthemic power rock with a four to the floor beat, for Unlimited Sin. True Believer has a Hot Butter, Popcorn vibe, which mutates into a bombastic rock track that would enhance any movie.
This Is War with its cheeky reference to Battle Beast rocks hard and solidly in a Manowar-esque style. The keyboards take a backseat for a flute based bridge and guitar orientated melody. Heart Of Steel feels as though there’s a Rocky film just begging to be made to utilise the magnificence of this track. No Surrender closes the album on a speedy power metal high that left me wanting more. Lucky there is such a thing as autoplay these days!
I all, this album is pretty much flawless for my current temperament. Empowering, a bit feisty and a whole lot of fun. If you preferred Bumblebee as a VW Beetle and love supercharged power metal, From Hell With Love should elevate and elate you ! It worked for me
- Cry Out For A Hero
- From Hell With Love
- Sweet True Lies
- Die By The Blade
- Unlimited Sin
- True Believer
- This Is War
- Heart Of Steel
- No Surrender
From Hell With Love will be released February 8 and can be pre-ordered via Amazon
Each Monday The Metal Report sends out a list of all stories, interviews, reviews and features we’ve posted for the previous week. You can sign up for it here.