When it comes time to sit down and write out my Best Albums of 2017 list it is going to be nightmare. It seems whenever an album has come across my desk this year it has been a beauty… the duds have certainly been few and far between. Even in the last twenty-four hours I’ve heard the brilliant latest album from Almanac – Kingslayer. Now comes the debut album from Beast In Black – Berserker which is bloody sensational.
The last couple of years have been like a dream for Beast In Black. Formed by former Battle Beast member Anton Kabanen the Finnish band’s first live show was to open for the mighty Nightwish and from things have flourished – firstly with a signing to Nuclear Blast and now by delivering one of the albums of the years with Berserker.
Kicking off with with ‘Beast In Black’ Berserker takes no prisoners. Despite the darkness of what the song is about it is as catchy as hell and Kabanen sets the album ablaze with some crazy guitar playing that reminds us all just how good he is with an axe in his hand. Then comes one of the best tracks of 2017 – ‘Blind And Frozen.’ Surprisingly a love song with some electronic influences in parts, but largely the right mix of power and symphonic metal which comes together nicely with the mix of Kabanen and Yannis Papadopoulos’ vocals.
Kabanen’s guitar playing is a major focus on the album and really comes to life on tracks like ‘Blood Of A Lion’, ‘Zodd The Immortal’ and ‘The Fifth Angel’ while the huge theatrical sound generated on ‘Born Again’ takes the track to an entirely different portal.
Both ‘End Of The World’ and ‘Crazy, Mad, Insane’ have their electronic tinges with the latter having one of the catchiest choruses you are ever likely to hear in metal – “I am crazy, mad, insane, out of my brain. I am all the things you hate.” The song writing in this track is pure genius and will be more than enough to put Beast In Black on the map. ‘Eternal Fire’ sees a strong 1980s vibe move in while ‘Ghost In The Rain’ is a beautiful slowed down ballad that is the perfect closer for the album.
Beast In Black have delivered one of the best debut albums you are ever likely to hear. Catchy yet sometimes experimental in parts Berserker is an album is an easy listen that you quickly fall in love with. There is no doubt about it this is one of the albums of the year.