Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
Following his departure from Battle Beast, renowned Finnish guitarist Anton Kabanen formed Beast In Black—Berserker is their debut offering. Teaming up with guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen (ex-Amberian Dawn, ex-U.D.O), drummer Sami Hänninen (ex-Brymir), bassist Máté Molnár (Wisdom), and vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos (Wardrum). Power metal hypergroup is the best word for describing these European mental patients.
Fellow Finn and top-hat enthusiast Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish, that weird project about Donald Duck) says you have to be insane not to like this record. Yes, that’s quite true. You’d have to be insane to like this record, and be comfortable with your IKEA-assembled madness. Within 30 seconds all guitars are firing, gang choruses are shouting to the heavens, and synth strings are hugging the walls. If you aren’t looking down and your pants are swapped with a kilt, your smartphone swapped with a plastic axe, then you aren’t doing Beast In Black any justice.
If you aren’t looking down and your pants are swapped with a kilt, your smartphone swapped with a plastic axe, then you aren’t doing Beast In Black any justice.
Electro-cheese comes in ABBA-styled Blind and Frozen, screaming at itself for getting to the chorus before they bore us. It’s all about the big choruses; Blood of A Lion is a Wacken anthem in the making, Born Again is a Europe throwback with hair one snip off a full blown mullet.
Can a Finnish band take on Italo-Disco and win it forever? (mi dispiace, Pagan) The answer is Crazy, Mad, Insane, and a resounding yes. Guitar theatrics explode into the sky on Eternal Fire, and even obligatory ballad Ghost In The Rain doesn’t merit a skip on the ol’ Spotify (We assume.) If there’s only one power metal release that you’ll tolerate per year, make it Beast In Black. If you’re a European power metal fiend, then this is a must buy.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Blind And Frozen, Blood Of A Lion, Crazy, Mad, Insane
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Gloryhammer, Wizard, Edguy
Berserker is out now through Nuclear Blast