Finnish power metal band Beast In Black were founded in 2015 by guitarist and songwriter Anton Kabanen not long after he left his previous band, Battle Beast. While the ‘Beast’ moniker has been retained – a tribute to the Japanese manga and anime series Berserk – the same can also be said for the musical style of the band veering on the chest-beating pomp of full on power metal.
What Beast In Black have managed to do to steer them away from direct copycat comparisons is to significantly dial up the cheesiness. While their 2017 debut ‘Berserker’ gained critical acclaim across the board for its power metal-by-numbers approach, follow-up ‘From Hell With Love’ has seriously ramped up the epicness to levels that are extreme even by power metal’s own elaborate standards.
‘Cry Out For A Hero’ gets the record out of the blocks in speedy fashion with decent guitar interplay carrying us through an exceptionally catchy riff. The twin guitar harmonies, delivered by guitarists Kasperi Heikkinen and Kabanen, and the retro-sounding delivery of Greek vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos are incredibly Iron Maiden-esque and suit their outlandish subject matter superbly.
The positivity continues unabated through the record’s titular track, with its super-retro guitar riff complimented by disco-style electronica and a really joyous atmosphere throughout (you’ll definitely be fist pumping by the end), while ‘Die By The Blade’ is bravado personified with a real call-to-arms attitude through its battle-hardened chorus.
The album is incredibly melodic throughout, and is strengthened by Papadopoulos‘ outstanding vocals. ‘Sweet True Lies’, for example, contains one of those outstanding key changes that even Mariah Carey herself would be proud of. And whilst ‘Oceandeep’ seems at first to be a sickly-sweet ballad, the impressive guitar work leads to an incredibly dramatic and anthemic atmosphere with yet another formidable key change displaying Papadopoulos‘ incredible range.
Elsewhere, it’s very difficult to find any niggles with the record. Whether it’s the band’s gang vocals on ‘True Believer’ (reminiscent of the Swedish rock group H.E.A.T.), the bombastic approach to ‘Heart Of Steel’, which sounds like it could have come from the Top Gun film soundtrack, or ‘No Easy Way Out’ being a typical power ballad to round off the album incorporating tonnes of driving guitar riffs, emotive vocals in that true 1980s style along with a true head-banging undertone throughout.
For some people, Beast In Black may be an acquired taste, but for those of you who revel in memorable hooks and lavish production, ‘From Hell With Love’ may well be one of your favourite releases of the year so far.
After getting into alternative music during the mid 90s with the rise of nu-metal and pop-punk, I’ve gradually spread my interests far and wide and have a real love for metalcore, prog metal and tech metal. Amongst other things, I am a husband, father of two amazing kids, heavy metal DJ, and video game/book/nerd enthusiast!