Album Review: Beast In Black – Dark Connection

Album Review: Beast In Black - Dark Connection
Reviewed by Richard Oliver

Since their formation in 2015, Beast In Black have been on quite the rise with two extremely well-received albums in 2017’s Berzerker and 2019’s From Hell With Love and tours alongside bands such as Rhapsody, Gloryhammer and Nightwish culminating in performing in front of 4500 fans at Helsinki’s Ice Hall in 2019. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Finland based band have been hard at it in the studio and are ready to unleash their third album Dark Connection.

One thing that’s certainly true about Beast In Black is that they are a fun band with a sound that balances European power metal with dashings of 80’s AOR, 80’s pop music and some straight up fist pumping heavy metal. It is a joyous concoction with songs that are catchier than the coronavirus and choruses with hooks so huge you can help but be dragged along for the party. The album kicks off in tremendous style with the punchy and energetic opener Blade Runner which is immediately followed by the insanely catchy Bella Donna. This is an album that rarely pauses to catch its breath being chock full of energetic songs that are guaranteed to get audiences bouncing when the band are able to tour for this album. From the bouncy Hardcore to the power metal powerhouse of Revengeance Machine to the poppy and synth driven cheesefests of One Night In Tokyo and Midnight Rendezvous. The only time the album slows things down is for the epic and ballad-like My Dystopia. Like on previous album the album finishes with a couple of cover versions and this time getting the Beast In Black treatment are Manowar with a cover of Battle Hymns and the king of pop himself Michael Jackson with a cover of They Don’t Care About Us.

Album Review: Beast In Black - Dark Connection

This is a slickly produced album having been recorded, produced and mixed by guitarist and band mastermind Anton Kabanen himself. It is also the most synth heavy album to date with a lot of the melodies being recorded in midi-demo form initially. The band themselves sound on absolute fire with thunderous riffs and killer lead guitar work from guitarists Anton Kabanen and Kasperi Heikkinen, a powerful rhythmic attack from bassist Mate Molnar and drummer Atte Palokangas and the astounding vocal range of singer Yannis Papadopoulos who hits high notes that are surely inhuman.

Dark Connection is the third in the ‘Beast’ trilogy of albums by the band and it is another killer release. It has a bit less of the AOR and arena rock influences that were on previous album From Hell With Love and goes back to the more power metal sound on debut album Berzerker whilst at the same time adding more synthesizers and influences from 80’s pop music. These songs are huge, energetic, devastatingly catchy and utterly irresistible even to a grump like me.

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