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Battle Beast - No More Hollywood Endings

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: Download
Released: 2019
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 8/10

Interesting times for Battle Beast. March of 2019 sees the release of ”No More Hollywood Endings,” their second full-length since the acrimonious departure of founding guitarist, Anton Kabanen, who’s making waves at the same time with his new band, Beast in Black. Comparisons between the two are inevitable, but this review is focused solely on “No More Hollywood Endings.” You can make those comparisons in your own free time.


We’ll start with the good - - this is a hypercatchy, melodic, accessible, guilelessly strutting set of tunes. Part Helloween, part Blind Guardian, part Bon Jovi, big part Beast in Black (obviously), part Crunchy Roll anime theme song, part Stallone-film training montage tune, Battle Beast are eminently fun and likable. From the first moments of opening tune, “Unbroken,” even with the opening lines about a little girl’s birthday party where no one comes, you know you’re in for something with heavy instruments, but with a Poppy, user-friendly interface. Noora Louhimo is something special on the microphone, bring a perfect combination of grit and Disney Princess vocal range and prettiness to her voice.
The bad: The cheesiness sometimes bubbles over, like a pot of Velveeta set above a high flame. Too much of this would sink the album, but there’s enough high quality stuff here to carry it through. The aforementioned “Unbroken” is just an undeniable rocker, followed up by the slower-but-still powerful title track, then maintaining consistency on “Eden.” “Unfairy Tales” is possibly the strongest cheddar on the entire record, but I list it here because it has a strange, fascinating allure. The maturity and worth of the band really comes through in two latter half ballads, though. “I Wish” is a lovely, heartrendingly honest ode to a lost loved one, possibly a father. “Bent and Broken” is far away the best song on ”No More Hollywood Endings,” bringing a lovely, infectious melody, one that puts full power into “power ballad.”
So my advice: if this sound works for you, then enjoy both Beast in Black and Battle Beast. It’s good to be a fan; we don’t have to choose.

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