Richmond, VA – Two nights removed from a full moon, one would have thought the lunacy would wane as the glow of the moon. Not so! On the evening of October 15, 2019, that stage would be set for insanity of the most animalistic variety to be unleashed on the suspecting crowd at The Canal Club.
Kicking off the night opening band, Deathless delivered a hard-driving melodic death metal set to the Tuesday night crowd setting the table for the insanity that followed. Hailing from Winchester, VA, Deathless was a great band to kick off the night.
The middle band, Flood the Asylum, was as their name suggests, insane. I admit, after hearing the sweet-sounding voice of lead vocalist Melissa Hackney when she introduced the band, I was not prepared for their sound. The transition from sweet to “ohmywhatisthat!” metal threw me for a loop. As I approached the stage, I was amazed at Melissa’s presence and an act that definitely fit the band name. Not content to stay on stage, she escaped the asylum and wandered (bounced) through the Canal Club crowd. What a fun and intense act to set up the headliner, Battle Beast.
When the opening acts had left the stage, the Beast was ready to pounce. Silently they set up what was to be their lair for the next 75 minutes. With a roar, started by Pyry Vikki (drums), Battle Beast marked what was now theirs. Adding to the roar was the sound of howls coming from Joona Björkroth (guitar), Juuso Soinio (guitar), and Eero Sipilä (bass). Eerily, Janne Björkroth (keyboards) was not heard as he had been in away attending to ‘very positive personal matters’ (band Facebook page).
When Noora Louhimo (vocals) took to the stage, the audience joined in with roars of praise of their own. Kicking off the night with a song from their most recent album, No More Hollywood Endings, Noora delivered a powerful “Unbroken”. The energy was amazing, both on and off the stage. Noora and the band doing a little stage theatrics with the crowd adding to the energy. It was obvious the Canal Club was going to be the Beast’s lair for the night.
Most of the music came from their two most recent albums, Hollywood Endings listed above and Bringer of Pain which was released in 2017. While embarrassed to admit, 3 months ago I had never heard of Battle Beast. When I listened to the title track from their most recent album No More Hollywood Endings, I knew I had found a gem. They were even better in concert, with Noora’s powerful vocals complimenting the howls and roars from the band. It was apparent from the start that they loved the audience and the audience loved them. Noora and the band did everything to get their new lair mates to play, and the audience gladly complied with a show of horns and headbanging that would make any metalhead proud! Eero Sipilä said it best when he said, “Some of the venues asked whether we wanted to have special VIP or meet and greet tickets. We told them all, ‘If someone comes to our concerts, they are all VIPs’”. Their stage performance and interaction with the audience during and after the show made it clear they believed in those principles.
It’s obvious that the band are very close, as their on-stage theatrics and interactions with each other were like none I had seen in a metal band previously. The on-stage animation made me tired as Noora danced, kicked, and sang around the stage with immense energy. I think I experienced a manic array of emotions as their music took many turns in style and feeling. Consistent throughout was the power and beauty of Noora’s vocals along with the metal arrangements that complimented her vocals.
Several pieces, including “Eden“, “I Wish”, and “Endless Summer“ (to name a few) were very orchestral and also had a theatrical sound, which I loved. Getting the audience involved added to the atmosphere. I have to admit though, the highlight of the night was when they played my favorite, “Bastard Son of Odin”. Why? Because as the song says, ‘He was born to kick your ass’… and kick ass they did!
As the night wound down, they finished with two songs from Bringer of Pain. Noora and the band provided a superb, high energy finish to the night with “King for a Day” and “Beyond the Burning Sky”.
Battle Beast is currently wrapping up a U.S. tour, supporting both Sonata Arctica and Kamelot. The night they brought all into their Richmond Den was an off night for their supporting tour. As the headline act in Richmond, they treated the fans to a full set much to the enjoyment of this correspondent. It was a show well worth taking in. I am looking forward to their next U.S. tour and being given the opportunity to invade their lair once again! They are a must see!
Battle Beast GalleryWebsite l Facebook l Instagram l Twitter l Youtube l
Straight to the Heart
The Golden Horde
No More Hollywood Endings
Bastard Son of Odin
King for a Day
Beyond the Burning Skies
Can’t get enough Battle Beast? Check out this video! This is what started it all for me!