ABOUT BATTLE BEAST–
Founded in 2008 on the southern edge of Finland, BATTLE BEAST stands for everything that is good and pure in metal music – crunching riffs, high screams, blistering solos and strong choruses. The sextet takes all the classical elements of traditional heavy metal without being afraid of adding its own flavor to the recipe. Already in the early stages of their career, BATTLE BEAST were to be noticed quickly by the international metal scene, especially after winning 2008’s Wacken:Open:Air “Metal Battle” and Finland’s “Radio Rock Starba” competition as well as after performing at the Finnish Metal Expo.
Fueled by its ever-growing fame, the combo soon caught the attention of Nuclear Blast which resulted in a record deal and the worldwide release of the highly acclaimed debut album “Steel” in January of 2012. Subsequently, BATTLE BEAST continued their triumphal march by touring together with NIGHTWISH for a total of 21 shows all across Europe, persistently extending their fan base through their tremendous on-stage energy and joy of playing. When former lead singer Nitte Valo quit the band in September 2012, BATTLE BEAST immediately got the chance to showcase new vocalist Noora Louhimo’s amazing skills live on tour with SONATA ARCTICA — over the course of 22 shows in 11 different countries, the renewed line-up proved that it was as strong, wild and hungry as ever!
After busy months of recording, producing and mixing in JKB Studios Helsinki (all of this done by the band members themselves) BATTLE BEAST’s eponymous sophomore release “Battle Beast” will strike the scene like a lightning on May 17, 2013, consisting of the Finns’ trademark mixture of extremely catchy choruses, epic heavy metal anthems, heavenly vocals and solos to die for – brought to a new level of intensity and sound quality. With new astonishing lead vocalist Noora on board and a record in their hands that literally is strong as “steel”, BATTLE BEAST are facing a future brighter than a thousand suns. Beware: The Beasts are back!!!
ABOUT LEAVES EYES–
For more than a decade now, LEAVES’ EYES have been setting world history to music and undeniably, by doing so, have raced to the top of the symphonic metal tree.
With their new monumental epic “King Of Kings”, the band now further justifies their leading position as a compass in the genre and re-awakes the thousand-year legend of Norway’s first king, ‘Harald Fairhair’, in the process. Again this band prove their amazing talent of capturing sagas and legends of the past and truly making them come alive in the here and now. Welcome the Vikings!
LEAVES’ EYES has always been a band of superlatives: the international group has toured on five continents, playing concerts in more than 50 countries. Their live shows are spectacular events with breathtaking stage scenery, including a Viking ship or even the “Swords In Rock” monument from singer Liv Kristine’s home town. On their studio albums, the band has constantly followed the steps of classical composers from the past. Debut “Lovelorn” (2004) lead them first for subject matter, to Norway, home country of former vocalist Liv and full of myths and legends. The concept effort made the musicians’ wonderment at Scandinavia’s vast nature graspable and later this found its continuation with 2005’s “Vinland Saga”, whose story told of the Viking’s exploration of America and its result. The success was immediate, as the album (and its hit single “Elegy”) remained in the charts for four weeks. What’s more, from that point on all LEAVES’ EYES releases would follow that same tradition and achieve high chart positions, whether it was the orchestral metal opus “Njord” (2009), impressively remembering the Vikings’ exploration of all parts of the world, or the complex “Meredead” (2011), which delved into tales of Scandinavian legends, connected to life, death and the power of the ocean. LEAVES’ EYES effortlessly combine traditional folk, mystic sounds of the past and a symphonic orchestra with brutal, metal rawness, and this was no truer than when, for their 10th anniversary, the band released the highly-acclaimed “Symphonies of the Night”, an album which features all their traditional trademarks, turned into a sweeping metal opera.
Now LEAVES’ EYES lead us back in time to when Harald I was uniting Norway as one kingdom. With an almost cinematic intensity, the band has you see the battle of Hafrsfjord itself. “King of Kings” sounds as if film score composers Hans Zimmer and Richard Wagner themselves had collaborated on a soundtrack about the life of Norway’s first king with amazing results. The epic title track with its huge choirs (brought to you by the “London Voices” ensemble, who have famously worked on movie productions such as “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” amongst many) gives a perfect start to the saga. It’s a perfect match to the band’s ambitions and to the vision of producer Alexander Krull, who sonically lifts “King of Kings” to the level of these blockbuster productions. Whilst, under the guidance of ex — Rage guitarist Victor Smolski, the powerful White Russian Symphony Orchestra adds even more feel. Despite all this musical variety and epicness though, LEAVES’ EYES never lose their grasp for hits! Songs such as “The Waking Eye” and the massive “Halvdan the Black” (which is about Harald’s fateful father) will definitely become gothic/metal club hits…. And, the rousing hymn “Edge of Steel” sees two of the genre’s biggest stars join forces: Liv Kristine and guest singer Simone Simons (Epica) together leading us right onto the battlefields of Harald I himself……
“King of Kings” offers stylistic diversity everywhere you look; from folk rock and gentle tunes to symphonic, epic, heavy hymns; it’s an impressive display of the artists’ involved multifaceted qualities.
We could tell you more; a further highlight is the gigantic “Blazing Waters” (featuring Lindy- Fay Hella — Wardruna), which comes across as a musical vision of the decisive battle as real as anything you’ll hear on a record, whilst natural Celtic /ethnic elements and also percussion add an authentic feel to rockers such as “Vengeance Venom” and “Swords in Rock”, which will endear them equally to pagan and Viking metal fans alike.
“King of Kings” is without doubt truly music in wide-screen format, the band creating musical pictures which really make the whole era come alive.