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Battle Beast - Circus of Doom Award winner

Battle Beast
Circus Of Doom
by Kevin Lewis at 07 February 2022, 5:23 PM

BATTLE BEAST is a six-piece Symphonic Power Metal band from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 2005. Circus Of Doom is their sixth full-length album and was released on January 21, 2022, via Nuclear Blast Records. Circus Of Doom is a massive effort, full of catchy hooks, tasty riffs, and bombastic rhythms. Then there are the vocals, featuring the classic voice of Noora and the choir they add behind her. BATTLE BEAST is, well, a true beast of a band.

Opening with the title track, we get a music box intro before the first riff pummels your ears. This is followed by a shift into a massive symphonic circus tone that transitions into the main body of the song. The choir is epic, and the vocals are stock standard BATTLE BEAST. That bass guitar, hovering under the riff, is so well placed it would actually be easy to miss it. It melds into the song that seamlessly.

Stepping down to “Master of Illusion,” we get another fantastic riff over another killer rhythm. These songs are solid. The riff, the rhythm, the orchestration, the lyrics, they all blend perfectly into a unique creation that only this group of musicians could create. I have not been aware of this band for all that long, just learning about them a few years ago, but this is so much a signature sound that I would recognize it immediately. And I truly believe there is comfort in familiarity. This is like a comfortable pair of leather pants; it fits oh so right.

Getting back to a bit of a circus feel within the music, “Russian Roulette” is a bit more tamed down while retaining the heavy. There are electronic sounding drums, prominent keyboards, and lots of backing vocals. A bit more flair and a slight pop influence give this song a different feel but stays in the band’s favorite realm. This is a bit more cinematic than some of the other songs and has some really cool shifts around the bridge. The old west player piano towards the end is a fun addition that really ties the song to the theme of the record.

Both “Freedom” and “The Road to Avalon” are killer tracks. “Freedom” has that slow intro with the chanting prior to the drum shift leading to a riff that rips your out of your reverie. The guitar solo is notable, not because it is unique, but is one of the best paced and placed I have heard in recent memory. It fits the song to a tee. “The Road to Avalon” stays more melodic throughout, relying more on keys and featuring a both guitar and keyboard leads that shift and twist around each other.

The record wraps with the pounding rhythm of “Place That We Call Home.” What a way to end an album. That riff, those keys, the voice, and the ever-present voice all merge into a beautiful cacophony. Moving in, around and through the power and symphonic elements BATTLE BEAST is known for, this is a fitting end to a killer record.

Once again, BATTLE BEAST has put out an epic record that will absolutely enamor their fans all over again. From the over-the-top rhythms to the bombastic lyrics and their powerful delivery to the excellent interplay between the guitars and keys, this is a record that delivers on the promise of massive metal done with care and faithfulness to the core sound this band embodies. When the “Circus of Doom” comes to town, make sure to get a ticket. It will be an experience you will never forget.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  10
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Circus of Doom
2. Wings of Light
3. Master of Illusion
4. Where Angels Fear to Fly
5. Eye of The Storm
6. Russian Roulette
7. Freedom
8. The Road to Avalon
9. Armageddon
10. Place That We Call Home
Lineup:
Noora Louhimo – Vocals
Eero Sipilä – Bass/Backing Vocals
Pyry Vikki – Drums
Joona Björkroth – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Juuso Soinio – Rhythm Guitar
Janne Björkroth – Keytar/Backing Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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