Jori : When guitarist Anton Kabanen left the immensely popular Battle Beast, it did not take him that long to assemble a new band, Beast In Black. Barely two years later the debut album ‘Berserker’ is finished and the metal word is holding its breath, what will Kabanen have cooked for us?
The answer to that question could not be more simple: Battle Beast two point oh, which immediately explains the fact that the band was able to sign with no less than Nuclear Blast for the debut album. Featured on ‘Berserker’ are ten excellent Battle Beast-styled heavy metal gems that easily live up to the first three records of that band. As good as the only difference that the singer in Beast In Black has a beard instead of boobs. In terms of singing style this good man, who listens to the name Yannis Papadopoulos, imitates vocal machine Nora in sometimes a creepy good way. And then there is of course the recognisable guitar work and also vocals of Kabanen, and the at least as recognisable keyboard cocktail that has always put a print on Battle Beast music as well. And with the sick great opener ‘Beast In Black’, the majestic ‘Blood Of A Lion’ and the smashing ‘Zodd The Immortal’ (with almost the same vocal lines as Battle Beast powerhouse ‘Lionheart’) it is clear that Kabanen has always been the driving force behind the metal machine he now left behind, and that Beast In Black has the potency to grow to Sabaton-like proportions. And with ‘Crazy, Mad, Insane’, Kabanen also ticks off his Gloryhammer moment.
A clone? Definitely. But this is one of the same creator, and you can hardly blame Kabanen for continuing with what he’s good at. And since Battle Beast took a more poppy direction after his departure there is definitely room for this clone. If you are a fan of Battle Beast, purchase of this record is as obligated as paying taxes.