|Genre||Hard Rock/Heavy Metal|
|Release Date||22 Mar 2019|
|Record Label||Nuclear Blast|
Battle Beast has all but completely reinvented its sound this time around, abandoning its unique brand of melodic heavy/power metal for a shinier, late 90s/early 00s pop sound. If Bringer of Pain was a step in a new direction, No More Hollywood Endings is a trip to the next city over. If it weren’t for a couple individual tracks and Noora Louhimo’s iconic, raspy vocals, it’d be unrecognizable as a Beast album.
As a longtime fan, I’ll come clean and admit that I’m more than a little upset at this change, but I get it; it’d be foolish to carry on your past sound when your lead songwriter has been kicked out of the band only to take the entire essence of the music with him and to do his damn best at making sure he overshadows your every effort (which he did anyway with the masterpiece that is From Hell With Love). There had to be a change because the core of the band has changed.
However, it’s beyond me as to why Battle Beast would choose the fucking dark ages of pop culture to draw inspiration from: circa year 2000. Many of the tracks, such as ‘Endless Summer’ and the emotional ‘Bent And Broken’ sound like one of those bittersweet songs they’d run during the credits of a shitty early 2000s romantic comedy. And in others, like ‘Unfairy Tales’, the melody sounds like it belongs in a nu country song.
But, it’s unfair for me to judge this album by nostalgia, so I’ll get on with it. Despite my feelings, this a good record. Not fantastic, mind you, because I think every musician in the band is capable of far more, but good. The pop songs are incredibly poppy, but there are a couple of heavier tracks and there is a lot of variety.
There are three tracks that I really like. ‘Raise Your Fists’ has some heavy instrumentals, a driving 6/8 beat, and a ridiculously good guitar solo. Probably the most organically-Beast song on the record is ‘World On Fire’, which is pretty straightforward but has some small trademark keyboard parts that pay homage to their older material.
My favourite on the album, however, is ‘The Golden Horde’, which begins with a cool techno intro before kicking off into thudding baddassery. Its undoubtable epicness will make you want to ride into battle on horseback to conquer whoeverthefuck stands in your way. The whole song is super fun, and the solos are in like fashion. On a side note, I think that this song could have made an amazing baseline for a new Beast sound, as it’s different enough from old Beast but still maintains a true, metal feel, but I digress.
The aforementioned ‘The Golden Horde’ has the most power metally lyrics on the entire album. The rest of the content has almost entirely shifted away from machine uprisings, Berserk, and general fantastical battle themes and replaced them with more slice-of-life relatability. It adds a bit more substance to the music but, honestly, this is heavy metal and I think I speak for most when I say, “Give me more over-the-top heroism and nonsensical lyrics!”.
Now, I have to judge this album on its quality as a metal album. Not on the past, not on my feelings, and not as a pop album (otherwise it’d easily be an 11/10. Move the fuck over, Biebs.). No More Hollywood Endings is widely dynamic, but a lot of the songs are very one-dimensional. Epic orchestras and keyboards run rampant throughout, which does add some depth to the music, and the guitar solos are excellent (though they rarely get a chance to shine). All things considered, I think this iis a fair score. But, be sure to check it out. It’s definitely worth listening to.
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