THE DOME, LONDON Finnish power metallers keep adjusting the gauge
Storming the stage dressed up to the nines in silver and supporting a rather impressive horned headdress,
BATT LE BEA ST vocalist Noora Louhimo inspires a tidal wave of roars within the crowd. This space-age Valkyrie is the undisputed star of the show, and it’s easy to see why – she commands the room with her huge voice and a formidable stage presence even through the perpetual surges of mist escaping from the onstage fog machines. Unfortunately, the rest of the band lean heavily on her strengths. Midway through the set, the Finns play a bunch of back-to-back love ballads and it’s not particularly appreciated by the crowd. It’s a Tuesday night, and while the sea of battle jacket-sporting fans love the upbeat tracks, passionately dancing and screaming out every lyric, the slower songs are sending them into a midweek slump. When Noora exits the stage, the guitar players struggle to wow the crowd in her absence. It’s the perfect opportunity for a power metal solo, but instead the two guitarists are just filling the void left by two minutes sans singer. Luckily, the energy picks up again when Noora returns, belting out The Golden Horde. Keytarist Janne Björkroth drags out a bizarre contraption – a keytar stand-cumdrumkit – complete with a minibar full of gin and tonic. At last the band emerge from their frontwoman’s shadow, pouring themselves drinks and egged on to “chug” by the crowd. Cue The Hero and Noora is back on form, forcing her guitarist to drop to the floor and perform press-ups for the song’s entirety. They announce their new record, and a return to the UK this November – much to their dedicated followers’ delight. This isn’t a ‘serious’ heavy metal band, but if you’re in the mood for some lighthearted poppy singalongs and an interactive spectacle, Battle Beast might just win you over. A bigger venue, though, and it’s doubtful they’d reign quite so supreme.