Beast in Black – Anton Kabanen (guitarist and band founder), Yannis Papadopoulos (vocals), Kasperi Heikkinen (guitars), Mate Molnar (bass) and Atte Palokangas (drums) – complete the ominous third chapter of their BEAST-like musical trilogy, that comprises all chapters of Kabanen’s musical path – fittingly titled ‘Dark Connection’. It will be released on October 29th, 2021 via Nuclear Blast.
An energetic burst of heavy power metal greets as Beast in Black emerge from their slumber with the thumping Blade Runner. To call this a hyperactive track is an understatement but the real selling point is the touches of synth littered throughout.
An opener that makes you feel alive, Bella Donna and Highway to Mars keep that feeling front and centre. Both tracks featuring stonking choruses and punchy heavy metal rhythms even though they move at different paces. The former, high strung and the latter, with a more methodical beat.
As high and feel-good as ever, Hardcore is a chest-beating and fist-pumping effort. Before One Night in Tokyo takes us back in time to when 80’s synth was all the rage. A grin-inducing bounce along, it’s a disgustingly catchy tune that makes you want to get your dancing shoes on.
In a similar vein but with a darker gothic tone, Moonlight Rendezvous has the spookiness to fit the season. Revengeance Machine is a heavy metal hair-raiser with a screeching guitar solo to boot and Dark New World is a thumping head-banger.
There is as bit of a drop off here though, and To the Last Drop of Blood just fails to ignite much in the way of passion even if it is a solid metal effort. Broken Survivors hits a bit more but, aside from the chorus, just isn’t that interesting.
Thankfully things recover for the melodramatic metal-ballad that is My Dystopia. The most emotive and classically-infused sounding track on the album.
Something big is needed to follow that and Beast in Black are more than up to the challenge as they produce the most epic track on the album in the form of Battle Hymn. Yes, this is a gargantuan cover of the Manowar classic and Beast in Black nail it, while putting their own spin on things. It’s an easy cover to love.
Before wrapping up the album with another cover but not one you might expect as Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us gets the heavy metal treatment. It’s silly, it just about works, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s nice to hear a rarer Jackson cut get the cover treatment.
Aside from the few tracks that don’t have as much oomph, Beast in Black’s Dark Connection is a very satisfying listen. One that shows just how much they’ve grown and just how bright their future is.
Beast in Black – Dark Connection Full Track Listing:
1. Blade Runner
2. Bella Donna
3. Highway to Mars
5. One Night in Tokyo
6. Moonlight Rendezvous
7. Revengeance Machine
8. Dark New World
9. To the Last Drop of Blood
10. Broken Survivors
11. My Dystopia
12. Battle Hymn (Manowar Cover)
13. They Don ́t Care About Us (Michael Jackson Cover)
Beast in Black - Dark Connection (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 8/10