BAT­TLE BEAST

THE DOME, LON­DON Fin­nish power met­allers keep ad­just­ing the gauge

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Live Reviews - ALICE PATTILLO

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.

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