Noble Beast - Noble Beast - (9/10)
Published on March 18, 2014
Whoever the A&R rep of Tridroid Records is – give him a raise! Why? Because he signed Minnesotan Noble Beast and is giving them a chance to spread their power metal (and them being the only melodic band among a lot of black metal for that matter…)! Again Why is that such a big deal? Because this quartet is wielding a mighty fine blade that should make the power metal world listen up and take notice!
So what makes Noble Beast such a noteworthy album to demand raises for people I have never met? Not just its quality, but also the originality! I know that the words power metal and originality are rarely used these days and for good reason, but this Saint-Paul based newcomers have one big ace up their sleeve in form of singer (and guitarist) Rob Jalonen, whose deeper, heroic voice gives the songs that extra edge to make them stand out among the legions of fellow swordbearers. Musically the band shows plenty of influence from the European school, with some North American touches, but the quartet would definitely not sound out of place across the ocean. And to reduce the quality and originality to just the vocals would be a grave mistake!
Some of these tracks have been in the making for three years, so it is good to see that these guys don’t just get together, slap together some songs, record them and throw them to the masses, but took their time to get everything done properly and trust me, it shows! From up-tempo opener “Iron Clad Angels” to epic “Nothing to Repent”, Noble Beast go on an epic power metal rampage that should garner them a sizeable following. On “Iron Clad Angels” Jalonen gives the already fairly epic up-tempo song an even more epic touch courtesy of his delivery, while the song itself is an excellent piece of power metal that also brings in some nice variety.
The guys spice up their power metal with some nice heavy metal elements, twin guitars and such, avoiding sameyness or boredom, and also have a few other surprises in store, be it the acoustic guitar of “We Burn” (not a ballad, but with the acoustic guitar actually going alongside the rest of the full instruments), the Riot influence in the guitars of the same track (you don’t hear a lot of Riot-isms these days) or “Disintegrating Force”, which incorporates some, are you sitting, melodic death metal influences in the guitars and rhythm section at the beginning, which works great in the power metal context and I wonder why there’ve been many bands mixing power metal with death metal vocals, but nothing the other way around (if there is something like that, please let me know, because I obviously missed it).
Noble Beast is chock full of great songs, the already mentioned “Iron Clad Angels” and “We Burn”, epic “The Noble Beast” and “Disintegrating Force” being the primae inter paris (first among equals), showing that this band has tons of potential to become a serious contender in this genre, if they can keep this up! The production has a few minor flaws, but gives the music room to breathe and live.
Overall Noble Beast definitely is one of the early surprises of the year, and a strong entry into the power metal album of the year contest. If you like yourself, treat yourself to Noble Beast’s first!