Battle Steel, Steel on fire

Finland is a great place for heavy metal bands. With the new album, "Steel", Battle Beast is back with a new female singer, Noora Louhimo. So it's time to talk about it with the leader of the pack, Anton Kabanen.

Give us a brief history of Battle Beast and introduce your new singer Noora ?
Anton : Battle Beast was officially founded in 2008. During the first two years we recorded a bunch of demo songs and played many gigs mainly around Finland. By the end of 2010 we had participated in two band competitions - Wacken Metal Battle and Radio Rock Starba - which we also won and soon after that we signed our first record deal. Our debut album STEEL was released in 2011 and it was well received. The summer was busy with festivals and later that year we were asked to join Nightwish on a European tour as their support act. And before we knew Nuclear Blast was also offering us a worldwide deal. 2012 was full of action, touring with Nightwish, recording our second album, festivals, then once again a European tour and this time as a support act for Sonata Arctica. During the recordings of the album our singer left the band so we were in big trouble but luckily we found Noora Louhimo who would take care of the lead singer duties on the new album and the tour with Sonata. So here we are now. Back on the saddle and continuing the journey to a brighter future.

Describe your songwriting and recording process for Battle Beast ?
A. : I wrote all the songs and lyrics home alone, like usually. This time I produced the album with Janne as the co-producer and it gave us the opportunity to concentrate on the album details. To me it was a nightmarish experience. I had never produced an album before in my life and there were many things that slowed things down and drove me completely nuts! But it was worth it. Now we are much more prepared for the third album which will be self-produced, as well.

How would you characterize the style/sound of the new album (more varied than on Steel, more power metal than ever...) ?
A. : It's the same style as STEEL with the exception that the production is better and the overall sound is closer to what we were going after. It's heavier, the keyboards play a bigger role in this one, I have more lead singing parts than previously, there's Noora on the lead female vocals, the guitar solos are faster and crazier and etc. To me Battle Beast is always just pure Heavy Metal, nothing more, nothing less. Don't really care what others might say. We just do Battle Beast style Heavy Metal and enjoy the ride.

Is Stratovarius a model for you ?
A. : Well, I love especially the older Stratovarius stuff and Timo Tolkki is an inspirational songwriter. But generally I'm more into Judas Priest, W.A.S.P., Manowar, Accept and that kind of stuff. What can I say, I'm hopelessly stuck with those bands. Each member has their own favorites so I'm speaking only for myself, of course. I wouldn't say Battle Beast has any particular model, any cool band can be inspirational in one way or another. As the songwriter for the band I never set boundaries for myself. Music has no limitations, you know. Whenever I hear something good, I try to memorize it so I can learn from it myself.

What will be the next step for Battle Beast ?
A. : A new music video is on they way. After that we're actually planning to record an EP during the summer, do some festivals in Finland, and in September we'll head for a European tour with Powerwolf. Hopefully next year we'll be headlining our own tour. Battle Beast is getting stronger and bigger all the time and there are many people we want to thank for that, but most of all, our fans! And I hope you buy our new album and like it. See you on tour !

Edited by Laurent Gilot
Photo : DR

Battle Beast, Battle Beast (Nuclear Blast - Pias)
Out on the 20th of may 2013


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