Two Finnish Femmes Fatales Join Voices in Big Anthems with Loud Guitars
Finland is free again! So the time has come to celebrate a Finnish metal siren summit. On their new album The Reckoning- streaming at Spotify – Smackbound lead singer Netta Laurenne joins forces with Battle Beast frontwoman Noora Louhimo. The two complement each other: if anything, Louhimo gets Laurenne to air out her gritty lower register, while Laurenne pushes her bandmate further toward operatics. It’s not a stretch for either singer, but it’s fun to hear the role reversal.
The band – Samy Elbanna on lead guitar, Nino Laurenne on rhythm guitar, Pasi Heikkilä on bass, Vili Itäpelto on keys and Sampo Haapaniemi on drums – make their way through a symphonic series of tempo changes in Time to Kill the Night, a warmly determined ballad. Elbanna kicks off his solo with some machete tremolo-picking; “I have been holding onto promises too long,” the two women harmonize.
The Reckoning, a catchy, stomping powerpop dig-in-and-fight anthem, is followed by Tongue of Dirt, more of a pop song at heart. The drama rises toward stormy classical territory in Striking Like a Thunder (hey, these women are Finns, cut them some slack).
Bitch Fire – yeah, that language thing again, perkele!– is a rapidfire, gleefully venomous riff-rocker, followed by the slow, swaying piano ballad Hurricane Love, Louhimo rising out of a subdued, solemn intro.
The two women go back to defiant backbeat anthem territory in the next track, To the Wall. Remember when just a couple of years ago, choruses like “We’re gonna fight til we all are free, it’s time to be who we’re born to be” were considered cheesy?
Laurenne raises the angst factor in Viper’s Kiss, awash in clouds of distorted guitars and 80s keyboards. Louhimo brings a throaty intensity over alternately thrashy and lingering guitars in Walk Through Fire. The duo save the album’s real stunner, Dancers of Truth, for last, taking a mysterious late 60s style latin soul tune into the here and now, with extra crunch and sizzle.
Battle Beast’s next gig on their home turf is Dec 1 at around 10 PM at Keruti in Joensuu, Finland; cover is €32,50.