Beast In Black - Berserker,
In 2015 guitarist Anton Kabanen parted ways with Battle Beast as he felt that they were moving in different directions. Not long afterwards and he was back with a new band, Beast In Black, and the band played their live debut opening for Nightwish. The quintet soon started work on the first album, and here is the result. It isn’t only the name that Anton is using to make people aware of the relationship with Battle Beast, but he has also renewed his collaboration with Roman Ismailov, who was the original illustrator and graphic artist for that band. Apparently, some of the songs on the album, such as the title track, “Beast In Black”, and “Zodd The Immortal”, are strongly influenced by the Japanese manga and anime ‘Berserk’. Now, that would be okay if everyone knew what that was, but when I see the title ‘Berserker’ I initially think of the stunning much-missed Australian extreme metal act The Berzerker, or then of the champion Norse warriors who were reported in Icelandic sagas to have fought in a trance-like state. Both of those images make me think of force and fury, yet that isn’t what we get here.
This is symphonic metal, well played and performed, with elements of both Angra and Nightwish, and appears to be a continuation of what Anton was doing with Battle Beast on their first three albums. Apart from the track “Crazy, Mad, Insane” which is obviously a joke song that will come back to haunt them, this is an enjoyable album that is rarely more than that. There is no emotional connection for me with the music: it just feels too one-dimensional and doesn’t contain the power and ferocity I hoped for.