Lady Beast
Vicious Breed

What do you get when you cross the most successful and popular NWOBHM band, Iron Maiden, the (slightly) darker thrash of King Diamond and even Iced Earth, the swagger of Motorhead, and the headstrong dominance of Manowar, with ass kicking XX chromosomes of mighty frontwoman power? Lady Beast, you get Lady Beast my friends. Wait… What? Lady Beast? Is that really their name? Seriously? Hmm… Regardless of my feelings on the band’s moniker, Vicious Breed is quite an impresive debut for the Cruz del Sur label. Having two prior full-length releases, neither of which I have ever heard, I can’t really say how Vicious Breed stacks up to the band’s earlier material, yet I can confidently, testify to the album being a seriously entertaining and fun listen. Though admittedly, not as awesome as my description of their combined influences might imply, Lady Beast is no slouch to shrug off.

From album opener, “Seal the Hex”, to title track and closer, “Vicious Breed”, Lady Beast provide some quality fist banging and horn throwing moments that really show their knack for songwriting, though a lot of the time they wear their influences a little too strongly. Literlly, damn near every track reminds me of one of the aforementioned influences, usually all of them within each track. While this isn’t really a bad thing, if you’re going to remind one of other bands, you might as well remind them of some of the best ones in the ‘biz, it is slightly detrimental  to Lady Beast‘s overall product. In reality this shouldn’t really matter, as there are complete genres of metal built solely on emulation of a band and/or scene.

Every song stands shoulder to shoulder with each other on Vicious Breed, with none of the eight tracks eclipsing the other in terms of power or appeal. Frontwoman, Deborah Levine, really does a fantastic job and complements the material perfectly. She has a great dominant mid-range, smooth and clean with a smidge of sultriness that keeps things full on metal, never falling into an opreatic cliché of what some expect out of a frontwoman. The rest of the band ain’t too damn shabby either, as drummer, Adam Ramage, bassist, Greg Colaizzi, and guitarist, Chris Tritschler, the meat and potatoes, aka the rhythm section, of Lady Beast are tight and concise, wonderfully melding a triple-M (‘Maiden, Motorhead, & Manowar) attack throughout much of the album’s material. Lead guitarist, Andy Ramage also gets two horned fists of approval as his solo work is traditionally classy and tasteful, as well as ripping and tearing, with a clean strong tone and some great harmonies to boot.

Wrap all of this up in some very cool artwork and a superb production job that captures every instrument’s nuances perfectly, and what you wind up with is quite a sweet little gem of some classic metal. Sure it’s not the most original, I doubt the band would even argue that point, but who cares? Original or not, Vicious Breed is an album that the majority of metal fans, without a stick up their ass, will be able to enjoy. If not, well, that’s really your problem, not Lady Beast‘s. Now if only something could be done about that name.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
January 11th, 2018


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