REVIEW: Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings (Musicalypse Archive)

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BATTLE BEAST have been on the rise since their inception in 2008, and they’ve already reached their 5th album, garnering more and more adoration from fans the world round with each release. Their last album, “Bringer of Pain” (2017), was surely their best release yet, so anticipation has been high. “No More Hollywood Endings” is set to be released on March 22nd, 2019, through Nuclear Blast Records.

I confess that I have a truly on-and-off appreciation for BATTLE BEAST sometimes. I couldn’t stand them at first with Nitte Valo on vocals (disclaimer: not her fault, I just wasn’t into the songs), though I’ve warmed up to them a lot since. “King for a Day” was one of my favorite songs of 2017 and I do think Noora Louhimo is a huge step forward for them vocally; “Bringer of Pain” was an absolute bangerMy relationship with this band reaches the polar opposite ends of the scale, so when I readied myself to listen to their latest release, anything was possible.

The album opens with “Unbroken,” an upbeat, catchy pop-rock song. It’s nice to hear that Louhimo has got a lot more control over the grit in her voice now – she sounds strong, but not like she’s tearing her throat to strips. The song is catchy, with those basic disco drums that I loathe so much and a high-medium energy level that seems like it will work better live. The orchestrations are clearly NIGHTWISH-influenced, and if you’d like your NIGHTWISH with a bit less “Holopainen” in it, this is a bit of a tamer version of what he does.

Frankly, a few songs in, a lot of the album feels pretty basic. While Louhimo and Joona Björkroth (guitars) are doing just fine, the drums play the exact same beat throughout the entire album and there might as well not be a bass player, for all you can hear from Eero Sipilä. “Endless Summer” is so shameless that it nearly hurts. It’s almost frustrating – that perfect ’80s sound really comes through in the keyboards, guitars, and vocals at times, but it lacks a bit of soul. A little more kick in the pants of the low-end and these might sound less cheesy and forgettable and more like songs you’d be hyped up to hear at a festival.

When listening through, at the midway point around “The Hero,” all the songs had started to blend into one another and sound the same. “Piece of Me” was almost great because of its notably darker and cooler mood, but still suffered from the same lack of oomph. “I Wish” toes the line of being a touching track, but it doesn’t really carry much personal feeling – it’s hard to imagine getting mesmerized in the artists’ passion on stage while this song plays live. The album sort of fizzles out without at any point standing out; none of the songs were even catchy enough to annoyingly worm their way into the ear.

Pros of the album? Noora Louhimo sounds the best she’s ever sounded. Her vocal technique has come so far and it’s great to hear her sounding so strong and in control. I also didn’t notice her doing any of that grating talk-screaming, which was a bit over-bearing on previous albums. Furthermore, it’s not a bad album musically, per se – I could put it on in the background while doing something and never find myself actively wanting to skip a song. However… the simple disco drumming and the lack of oomph to kick things up, leaves it so that the album never quite steps things up to “amazing”; the riffs are fairly interesting, but the bass and drums aren’t. As such, the memorable parts of the album fall flat without any power in the rhythm section. For the fans who aren’t too technically bothered, this will likely be an okay addition to the band’s discography, but for those who wanted more of the punch and power of their previous albums’ material, “No More Hollywood Endings” ironically incites a bit of a Hollywood ending.

Written by Bear Wiseman
Musicalypse, 2019
OV: 1889

Tracklist

  1. Unbroken
  2. No More Hollywood Endings
  3. Eden
  4. Unfairy Tales
  5. Endless Summer
  6. The Hero
  7. Piece of Me
  8. I Wish
  9. Raise Your Fists
  10. The Golden Hoarde
  11. World on Fire

Lineup

Juuso Soinio – rhythm guitar

Pyry Vikki – drums 

Eero Sipilä – bass

Janne Björkroth – keytar

Noora Louhimo – lead vocals

Joona Björkroth – lead guitar

Label

Nuclear Blast Records

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