Following his departure from BATTLE BEAST two years ago, Anton Kabanen has formed a new band, Finnish power metal group BEAST IN BLACK, who are set to release their debut record Berserker. The band have teamed up with Nuclear Blast Records for the record, with the album itself taking a lot of influences from a Japanese manga and anime Berserk.
The album begins with a title track, which starts with a bang – no slow intros or build up, just straight into the swing of things. There are plenty of power metal elements present within the opening seconds, quickly defining the genre and the overall sound to the listener. Like many power metal bands, there needs to be a power vocal element and BEAST IN BLACK do not disappoint here, Yannis Papadopoulos doing an excellent job behind the mic. As opening tracks go this does everything it needs to and very well.
The following track Blind And Frozen has guest female vocals as well as Yannis, which give the impression that this is a song about two lovers, and with both vocalists collaborating for the chorus it really is a powerful track. The rhythm is relatively the same as the first track, and indeed throughout the record, which helps to add to the atmosphere and overall feeling of the track.
As mentioned before there are a lot of power metal elements throughout the record, and that includes a ballad of some sort featuring in the album. Normally in power metal this is a song which takes a different sound or pace to the rest of the record, and in Berserker that particular track comes in the penultimate song, End Of The World. From just the title alone it suggests that this is more sombre compared to the rest, and it is evident by the slow build up to the track, mainly coming from the keyboards, and the vocals being much softer. It works very well, and shows that the band really know their genre and what elements work.
There are a lot of good tracks on the record, besides the three mentioned here, and each one has its own unique style which shows that the band have really worked on their sound. Most bands have a ‘core’ sound which is easy to identify no matter how many albums they release, like IRON MAIDEN for example, but BEAST IN BLACK have been able to add additional elements to differentiate between songs.
Power metal may well be a niche genre in the metal scene, and there are a lot of bands which makes it hard to stand out, but BEAST IN BLACK seem to have a more aggressive edge to them compared to conventional power metal bands, and because of that it is a refreshing take on the genre. Berserker is a very strong debut album, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for BEAST IN BLACK in years to come.
Berserker is set for release on November 3rd via Nuclear Blast Records.
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