Since the release of their highly acclaimed album, “Bringer of Pain,” in 2017, BATTLE BEAST have toured the world almost constantly. I have seen them live on several occasions since then and it has been great to follow their development over this time and observe how their hard work has payed off. The most impressive show was their appearance at last year’s Wacken, which was definitely on a new level.
Due to the corona-forced break, BATTLE BEAST announced a worldwide live stream on 27 June 2020 in cooperation with Sunborn Live, recorded at Kulttuuritalo in Helsinki. As for many bands, this was a completely new experience for them and I was curious how they would deal with the lack of “real people” in front of the stage, as part of their “standard” shows involves interaction with the audience.
After a short intro, BATTLE BEAST opened with the powerful “Unbroken,” which is also the first track from their latest album, “No more Hollywood Endings.” The energy of charismatic singer Noora Louhimo could be felt from the first second – her stage presence and vocal performance were absolutely impressive. “Familiar Hell” (one of my favorites) was next, so my feet and head started to move automatically.
After that straightforward start, bassist Eero Sipilä took the opportunity presented by a short break to explain why guitarist Joona Björkroth needed to play from a chair: a doctor had “stolen his appendix” a week ago and fans should keep an eye on him so that he wouldn’t move from his place. All joking aside for a moment, get well soon, Joona!
The show continued with the catchy “Straight to the Heart” and fans in the worldwide chat became ecstatic, as the band’s joy of playing and the solid sound/light production fit well together and transported an amazing live feeling through the screen. Between the songs, there was always time for some lighthearted dialogue like, “What’s up next? Does anybody have a setlist?” “Oh, it’s here… what does that mean?” “You wrote this setlist!”
BATTLE BEAST classic “Black Ninja” was next, which brought Noora’s new cape to the audience’s attention, with multiple questions about her tailor popping up in the chat. Introduced by a short “Summer of 69” intermezzo, things slowed down with “Endless Summer” (honestly not a real favorite here), but the song was lifted up by the guitar outro by Joona. They went straight ahead with three more tracks from the new album – “I wish,” “Raise your Fists,” and “Touch in the Night”- including a little improvised dance interlude.
Again, they interacted with their virtual audience by saying, “We can’t see you, we can’t hear you, but everyone around the world, make some noise!” Naturally, we did… or can you sit still during “Out of Control”? I sure can’t. Noora impressed fans with her vocal variety between a beautiful warm tone and expressive rough singing.
Of course, the mighty “Bastard Son of Odin” couldn’t be missed. The band acted as a unit and their playful fun reached viewers, no matter how far away. Then it was time for the BATTLE BEAST disco invader, introduced as “The future of live music, the future of heavy metal, the future of this band!” It was an electronic drum and keyboard set with different lights and sounds that was moved by drummer Pyry Vikki, while keyboarder Janne Björkroth tried to play it. This one was used for the 80s disco vibes in “The Hero,” but before they played it, Eero dedicated the song to the medical workers in Finland for their efforts during the pandemic and for helping Joona and himself over the past few weeks.
The great pre-finale came with “Eden,” “No more Hollywood Endings,” and “King for a Day,” during which Noora once more proved her incredible potential as a singer and performer. She’s one of the greatest female vocalists at the moment, in my opinion, and the fans honored it with a virtual mosh-pit! The set was completed with “Beyond the Burning Skies.”
Even though the concert itself didn’t differ very much from a “normal” BATTLE BEAST show because of the setlist or performance, it was something special nevertheless. The interaction with the fans worldwide was completely different compared to the experience in a hot, packed club, but it worked very well. The feedback was amazing and showed the difference between a pre-recorded concert and a live stream – seeing thousands of metalheads around the globe join the event gave it a very special feeling and it was obvious that all of the band members had a great time as well. The mix of catchy, powerful music, good sound/light production, and the jokes in between made it a very entertaining evening.
Written by Katha
- Familiar Hell
- Straight to the Heart
- Black Ninja
- Endless Summer
- I Wish
- Raise your Fists
- Touch in the Night
- Out of Control
- Bastard Son of Odin
- The Hero
- No More Hollywood Endings
- King for a Day
- Beyond the Burning Skies
Written by Katha
Interview with I Am Your God — “You’ll feel something when you listen to the album, that’s a promise.”