Lady Beast
The Vulture’s Amulet

When I discover a new act that I really connect with musically, as a completist, will get their discography and study their albums.  With today’s ever evolving and oversaturated metal scene a band must never forget to create real music, which incorporates great song writing, catchy guitar riffs and great vocals with well-placed vocal patterns.

I get that it’s tough, as someone who has been connected to the scene as a musician and writer for as long as I have I appreciate the fine details a band puts forth which sets them a part from the rest.  My favorite all time metal band is Iron Maiden and with growing up on the Sabbath, Priest, Twisted Sister and The Scorpions classics I am firmly rooted in the originators of Heavy Metal-throw in Manilla Road as well-they’re extra special.  I am a newbie to Pittsburgh’s Lady BeastThe Vulture’s Amulet is their fourth album.  I have gone back and obtained the rest of their discography.  Their 2012 s/t debut, Lady Beast II from 2015, Metal Immortal ep from 2016 and Vicious Breed from 2017.  To say I am impressed with this act is an understatement.

So much so because The Vulture’s Amulet will be in my best of at the end of this year.  They will be towards the top of my list for sure.  I cannot get enough of this album or the rest of their discography.  With a strong foothold in their Maiden and Priest classic influences Lady Beast incorporates a lot of NWOBHM to their sound mixed with speed and Power Metal-think classic Helloween.  The 5 piece consists of Adam Ramage on drums, Chris “The Twiz Twizzler” Tritchler and Andy Ramage on guitars and Deborah Levine on vocals.  Longtime bassist Greg Colaizzi has departed since the release of this album and has already been replaced with Amy “I’ll show you bastards” Bianco.

9 songs in 40 minutes “Metal Machine”, the shortest song on the album, gets rolling with some ass-kicking drums and beginning guitars before the solo erupts over the metal galloping madness.  Deborah’s vocals come forth, sounding restrained at first, as she sets up a catchy vocal pattern before she gets into the chorus and her vocal tunes are beyond catchy.  Christ almighty, she has a strong set of pipes and as a death metal singer I truly appreciate her classic metal voice, which actually sounds refreshing.  The song continues to gallop in its quick metal pace-which has many similarities and cross-referencing of power metal acts.  I love how Deborah sings the chorus and alternates a few tones, with a little snarl-monotone is not in her vocabulary, that is for sure.  “Runes of Rust” starts next with a monster guitar riff with some nice melodic undertones.  Very catchy as the song is mid-paced.  Vocals come in and go perfectly with the guitar and drum pattern.  Again, the chorus is so goddamn catchy as the vocals hit perfectly on the cymbal hits.  The song has a bit of Manilla RoadCrystal Logic homage to it-therefore making it one of my favorite metal songs for all of 2020.  The isolated vocal chorus and guitar patterns stop n start pattern at the 3 minute mark is the Holy Shit moment.  Calling to mind classic Manilla Road and early Maiden-think first 2 Maiden albums.

One of the many great things about Lady Beast is they have many varying riffs and patterns but return to the catchy patterns time and time again on each song-which is important.  It embeds in the listeners head and the fact that they know they do not have to fill up a song with 1,000 riffs-to me is the way to write a memorable song, because how many fucking songs blow by you because you cannot connect with it.  A band just wanting to write mindless noodling all damn day-whether it’s death metal, thrash, grind or metal like this-folks just learn to write great songs damnit.

“The Gift” has some great dual tracking vocals at certain points and more power to the metal on this one as this song is a nice fast metal song.  “Sacrifice to the Unseen” has quite a lot of heaviness to it, almost getting into thrash metal like heaviness and “Transcend the Blade” has another galloping power metal madness feel to it.  Excellent guitar melodies.  Some classic Maiden riffing going on and it’s a great instrumental, but would have benefitted with vocal patterns, because Deborah Levine is my new favorite metal singer.

“Vow of the Valkyrie” starts fast and never lets up.  I may have forgotten, I actually did forget to mention if you like Motörhead then you will love the Lady Beast bass guitar tone.  Has a Lemmy flair to it and thus makes the rhythm section even better.  Again excellent vocal patterns and just ripping guitar riffs.  Excellent solos again erupt and before you know The Vulture’s Amulet is over and if you’re like me, you’re already starting the album again with “Metal Messiah”.

Lady Beast is a special band indeed.  This and the rest of their albums could have been released in like 1985, that’s how classic they sound.  Production is excellent.  All the music sounds tight and pulled together nicely with Deborah’s vocals at the right mix for this brand of metal.  Nothing overtakes each other and there is no variance in sound quality as the songs progress.  Song writing skills are excellent and the band knows how to write metal.  I love this band.  I cannot praise them enough for releasing such a great album.  Now if you’re a classic metal head/power metal fan you’re going to want to check Lady Beast out at once.  If you’re into newer metal bands over the last decade or a little longer or so, such as: Visigoth, Eternal Champion, Dark Forest or even Spirit Adrift you also will want to check the band out.  The Vulture’s Amulet sits nicely against their other releases.  Mixing in the classic metal, power metal and a few epic metal moments that are chest thumping anthems.

I love this act so much, once shows start happening again if the band does not play around near me hell, I’ll go to Pittsburgh to see them live and definitely buy a shirt-gotta get myself a Lady Beast shirt soon.  The album cover goes perfectly with the The Vulture’s Amulet album name.  Ok enough already.  Go and like their Facebook page, buy their releases and this is a Buy or Die release!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
June 5th, 2020

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