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What could be a more appropriate metaphor in the setting of Power Metal than that of the Phoenix! With the departure of guitarist Anton Kabanen from previous band Battle Beast, the man resolved to return in a new direction. Opening for Finland’s herculean Power Metal trope Nightwish, truthfully a Power Metal couldn’t ask for a stronger opening gambit. Now returning with brand new band Beast In Black, Kabanen has brought forward the vision that was birthed in Battle Beast all those years back but with a roaring debut.

Combining musicianship the likes of Dream Theater with the tongue in cheek silliness of Alestorm, Beast In Black are a band that are here to make their mark. Featuring all the hallmarks of the Power Metal greats, power chords break through barriers alongside pneumatic drums on opener “Beast In Black” particularly. For those who might be familiar with the Wogan influenced programme, this is Eurovision Metal at its finest. Lyrics of storming castles in “Blood Of A Lion” brings a metallic edge to the contemporary Power Metal ballad.

Small reference of Blind Guardian can be found in the delivery of Yannis Papadopoulos’ lyrics, not to mention the serious range the singer is able to hit. Finale section of “The Fifth Angel” ensures that the man has more than proven his worth. However the band ensure to inject a bit of cheese with the disco Pop sensibilities of “Crazy, Mad, Insane” almost a pastiche of Rick Astley style synth drums and Kraftwerk-esque vocals. It might sound like the B-side of a Rammstein tune but it has a certain charm to it, much like Eurovision! Similarly the Europe worshipping “Eternal Fire” comes very close to the classic hit involving a countdown but the ingredients are so madcap that it’s hard to argue with it. Not to mention it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. 

Bottom line here, Beast In Black have a seriously good time. Yes they might, go a little mad and pick some overly familiar sounds but it’s all good fun. They might not be breaking new ground but Berzerker is a fairly solid debut.  Whether you’re wizarding or warlocking if you leave common sense at the door, chances are you’ll have a great time with them too. 

Rating : 3/5

You can pick up a copy of the band’s brand new album Berzerker right here before its November 3rd release via Nuclear Blast. 

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