|Release Date||8 Feb 2019|
|Record Label||Nuclear Blast|
It’s finally here! The Beast is back with another genre-shattering masterpiece in From Hell With Love. This highly-anticipated album holds nothing back; it is unlimited 80s fury that never fucking stops.
I’ll be completely honest here. There hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t thought about this album since its announcement. Having been a huge fan of Battle Beast since I first heard them years ago, my excitement was immeasurable, and luckily, fully warranted.
From Hell With Love delivers all the mouth-watering cheese it promised with its singles, ‘Sweet True Lies’ and ‘Die By The Blade’, plus an assload more. As usual, the production quality couldn’t be clearer and there are too many background parts to count. New drummer Atte Palokangas makes himself right at home with the Beast, and Yannis Papadopoulos’ knockout voice is as vicious as ever. Anton Kabanen’s classic Battle Beast essence is ever-present, but there is no shortage of new elements.
Rather than sprinkling in some 80s pop flavours here and there, this album goes all out and douses the music in all sorts of different layers of 80s glory. ‘Repentless’ has some Rocky-esque fanfare, whereas ‘From Hell With Love’ is more disco pop. There is a huge amount of variety within the album, with the musical influences coming from the entire decade rather than just a single genre of 80s music.
Kabanen once again proves he can write the shit out of a quality ballad, too. ‘Oceandeep’ is emotional and heartfelt, complete with Yannis’ passionately (and womanly, but in the most beautiful of ways) versatile vocals. The solo is tasteful and even gets back up for a second round.
You may be asking, “Hey, what about the heavier stuff we’ve grown to love?” Don’t worry; there’s plenty of that, too. Tracks like ‘Cry Out for a Hero’, ‘Killed by Death’, and even the cover of Robert Tepper’s ‘No Easy Way Out’ are sufficiently powerful. I was kind of disappointed that there was no training montage music video for ‘No Easy Way Out’, though. That’s literally the only thing about the album that comes close to being a problem for me.
The lyrical themes still contain a bit of japanese manga influence, mainly from Berserk (but also Fist of the North Star in ‘Cry Out for a Hero’), as well as more personal and general themes, resulting in a creative songwriting mix.
Now, let’s talk solos. It seems like Kabanen took a turn in style at Battle Beast’s Unholy Savior, and continued in like fashion into Berserker, with more emphasis on technicality than outright shredding. However, it seems that he’s pulled all of the best moves from his bag of secrets to develop an even more lethal combo. A perfect example is in ‘No Surrender’, which begins with an epic riff before exploding into some truly facemelting energy.
Ding Ding. Despite it only being February, I think it’s safe to say that From Hell With Love will conquer the competition and come out as the heavy metal champion of the year. All biases aside, there is nothing that this record could do improve. It’s perfect the way it is. It’ll set your heart on fire until you’re about to burst.
But, with all the guts poured out in From Hell With Love, will the next release be able to stand up and defend the title? It’ll be tough, but they’ll sure as hell try; I didn’t hear no bell.