Beast In Black
From Hell With Love

After 3 albums with Finland’s quick rising power metal act Battle Beast, guitarist Anton Kabanen had a bit of an acrimonious departure from the band but quickly formed his own band Beast In Black, then really didn’t hide the fact its basically the same band, with the same sound, but somehow even cheesier and catchier. They released Berzerker in 2017 and it was one of my guilty pleasures as well as my first exposure to both bands ( I dug Battle Beast‘s 2017 album Bringer of Pain).

Well, both bands are slated to release albums early in 2019, with Beast In Black first up with From Hell With Love ( Battle Beast‘s No More Hollywood Endings drops at the end of March), and it’s essentially the same formula as the debut, yet somehow even more schlocky, cheesy and undeniably enjoyable. Seriously, this makes Powerwolf and Sabaton look like Cannibal Corpse.

And I’ve come up with a new genre name for it……… MONTAGE METAL!!!!!

Yep.  Basically, the 11 (the physical version has 2 bonus covers of Motorhead and Robert Tepper tunes) songs follow the same formula, catchy keyboards and riffs delivering a verse, a sugary, super catchy chorus, a quieter bridge then a key change, rinse and repeat. And they could all be used for some 80s movie where the protagonist has to prepare for some confrontation with the villain,  with 4 in screen displays of various shots of running, fighting, sweating and pumping iron. That or some over the top, high octane anime theme song (the band’s lyrics are often influenced by anime FWIW) .

Now if course this is a gross exaggeration – “Oceandeep” is a full-on ballad, thus breaking the pattern- and hence is the worst track on the album. But everything else from opener “Cry Out For A Hero”, the title track,  and downright addictive quartet of “Repentless”,  “Die By the Blade”, “Unlimited Sin” and “This is War” to closer “No Surrender” (MONTAAAAAAAAGE!!!!!!) is pretty predictable if super fun (seriously, if the 2:15 of “Heart of Steel” doesn’t make you tap your foot and smile, go back to depths of your frosty windswept forest).   Other than the aforementioned ballad,  there is one other clunker in the over overly commercial  “Sweet True Lies” ( which is more Bon Jovi  than anything else) and arguably the most montage-y of all the tracks “True Believer”, is a bit cringe-y.

Vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos will be the sticking point, even for ardent power metal fans, as his voice is pretty high register as he flits between standard power metal croon, Rob Halford and Liv Kristin (yes, at times I thought there was a female guest vocalist), but its perfect for the style and certainly is part of the hyper-cheesy catchiness that Beast In Black have locked into without shame.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 18th, 2019


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