Battle Beast - Steel
Hype Productions
Heavy Metal
11 songs (46:12)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Cory

The great sage Kermit the Frog once enlightened us with the timeless observation that “it’s not easy being green”. Likewise, many a metal band has slogged their way through mediocrity only to find that “it’s not easy being a metal band” or perhaps more appropriately “it’s not easy being a metal band and getting people to take you seriously”. Manowar are the golden standard for this, being the Kings of Metal to a legion of blindly devoted followers (myself included, at one point in time) and those guys that wear loincloths while lathered in sweat and uncomfortably close to each other for a photo shoot to the rest of the world. No genre can be more brutal in its honest critique of the world and the human condition than metal, but on the other side of that coin no genre (including country) open’s itself up for more verbal abuse at its often ridiculous nature than metal. It is a fine line to walk for sure, and in the case of Battle Beast’s debut album Steel both feet are firmly planted over the line into eye rolling territory.

Blending a traditional metal sound with power metal leanings, and naturally incorporating a female vocalist in the mix, Battle Beast brings the cheese by the truckload. Songs like Enter the Metal World, Armageddon Clan, and Justice and Metal pretty much beat you over the head with just how metal they are (usually by screaming the word metal over and over), sometimes to decent effect but more often than not eliciting a strong sense of been here and done that before. There is a lot of attitude on this album, but unfortunately most of it comes across as insincere and the result is a pretty shallow album that is good for a few spins, then easily forgotten.

On the music side of the house, the playing is competent though nothing to get out of your chair for. There are pretty cool leads scattered throughout, but this is often accompanied lyrics that cannot be played in public. The title track is a prime example of this, with the lyric “shake the world with metal, shake the world with steel” being cringe worthy. Granted there are other bands that I listen to that aren’t exactly poets by comparison, but at least with them it comes across with conviction. Also I am all for kicking someone’ ass with metal, but my idea of doing this is through a monstrous riff and a wall of sound. On the vocal side of the house, Nitte Valo brings the effort, but not always the execution. There are times, such as on Die-Hard Warrior, that she absolutely nails the attitude and mid-range, but on songs like Enter the Metal World she is uneven, especially when she shoots for those hardcore screams. Backing vocals are also a mixed bag, at times serving their purpose well and other times sounding exactly Lordi (the irritating Lordi, not the Gwar wannabe funny Lordi).

Metal in the vein of Dream Evil (of the Book of Heavy Metal variety), Battle Beast’s Steel is worth a listen for those that want to shout and scream their devotion to all things metal from the roof tops, and that crowd certainly exists. For the rest of us though, this is an album easily overlooked in favor of more substantial fair. Steel is metal through and through, but I prefer my metal in the form of iron, not aluminum.

Killing Songs :
Armageddon Clan and Die-Hard Warrior are decent enough....
Cory quoted 62 / 100
Chris quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Battle Beast that we have reviewed:
Battle Beast - Battle Beast reviewed by Chris and quoted 96 / 100
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