Battle Beast

Live at The City National Grove

Anaheim, CA

May 11th, 2017

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

Battle Beast are a heavy metal band from Finland. They resolutely fall into the power metal sub genre with their use of symphonic elements and keyboards as well as their powerful song structures and lyrics.

The main thing that really sets them apart from others in the power metal playing field is their lead singer, Noora Louhimo.  Her voice is as powerful as they come and uniquely blends both beautiful and abrasive qualities that perfectly fit with the driving guitars and soaring melodies.

I have been a fan of theirs for a number of years now, instantly falling in love with their sound with their self-titled album, "Battle Beast". Since then they have released two additional albums, "Unholy Savior" and their latest effort, "Bringer of Pain".

Joining Noora on stage are Juuso Soinio and Joona Björkroth manning the dual guitar assault, Eero Sipilä on bass guitar, Janne Björkroth on keyboards, and Pyry Vikki on drums. This was my first time getting to see the Beast in action and I have been excited since they announced they would be supporting the mighty Sabaton.

They began the set with the opening track from their latest album, "Straight to the Heart". I am a big fan of the new album but I was looking forward to any and all songs from their back catalog. They really stuck to the new material however, as they did seven out of their eight song set from this release.

We got the awesome title track, "Bringer of Pain" followed by "Familiar Hell" which has almost a disco backing layer from the keyboards that blends quite well with the aggressive heavy metal guitars and dark lyrics surprisingly.

Up next they did the only song not off of "Bringer of Pain" with their popular single, "Black Ninja" that came from their self titled album.

That led into one of my favorite songs from any band at the moment, "Lost in Wars". The album version features Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis fame singing the male portions. Live the keyboard player sang these parts and did a great job.

This song has such awesome lyrics with a philosophical look at mankind being their own worst enemy:

"The sun has gone a long time ago. We are waiting for the dawn that will never show. Our hearts are getting hard, souls covered by scars. We are made of stars, but we are lost in wars".

They brought it up an aggressive notch with "Bastard Son of Odin" who "was born to kick your ass" before leading into a big fan favorite, "King for a Day". This last one has a lot of parallels to the current global political climate but still retains a fun and fast moving side despite its dark content.

They finished up their all too short set with the amazing "Beyond the Burning Skies". Battle Beast kicked ass. Noora is really impressive live, she has a powerhouse voice and a great stage presence that was all that I hoped it would be when anticipating the show.

My only wish would have been that they could have fit in at least one song from "Unholy Savior" as that album is amazing start to finish. "Madness", "Lionheart", "I Want the World" or the title track would all have been so cool to see live but I can appreciate them wanting to really promote and share the latest release and they chose great songs off of it.

I hope they come again soon as that was certainly not enough Battle Beast for me.

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