Published on April 12th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Battle Beast: No More Hollywood Endings (Nuclear Blast, 2019)
Oh man, I thought Finnish metal band Battle Beast doubled down on the pop metal with their previous album (2017’s ridiculously catchy Bringer of Pain), but their latest – titled No More Hollywood Endings – is even poppier. There’s not much “battle” in this beast lately, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The simplest thing Battle Beast could have done is repeated the basic formula (power metal + a shit ton of keyboards) from Bringer of Pain. It was a great album and something of a breakthrough for the band. Instead they pushed themselves further into pop territory; sometimes successfully and sometimes not too much. There’s a strange, but still compelling mix of approaches on No More Hollywood Endings, but the album is held together by vocalist Noora Louhimo’s raspy, charismatic vocal style and Janne Bjorkroth’s keyboards and production.
No More Hollywood Endings is almost like a tale of three albums. A third of the album seems to be directly influenced by cheesy, inspirational ‘80s soundtrack pop – think Bonnie Tyler and Irene Cara. That’s what the often cringe-worthy lyrics and dramatic approach of “No More Hollywood Endings” and “I Wish” are most reminiscent of. Another third hits right in that Scandinavian melodic hard rock zone (think Crazy Lixx and Brother Firetribe) that is so much fun. The back-to-back-to-back “Endless Summer,” “The Hero” and “Piece of Me” are solidly in that style, and are where the album starts to get really enjoyable. Then there’s the last third, which (finally) gets back to the signature Battle Beast heavy metal sound. Anthems like “Raise Your Fists,” “The Golden Horde” and “World on Fire” are where this album really shines. It’s a shame there are so few of them.
You can’t really call No More Hollywood Endings a disappointment when at least 2/3 of it is really, really enjoyable. It’s definitely a step down from Bringer of Pain though. And if there’s a (hopefully friendly) rivalry with the former Battle Beast members in Beast in Black, Battle Beast is definitely coming in second this year. Still, if you liked what you heard on the “Doro meets disco” Bringer of Pain, there’s plenty to enjoy on No More Hollywood Endings. And if you dig pop metal in general – think Amaranthe, Dynazty Cyhra and Beast in Black – you can’t really pass this one by.
Summary: Bonnie Tyler + Crazy Lixx + Doro?