Setting off with album number 3 is going to be a tough one to follow their most excellent ‘Steel’ and ‘Battle Beast’ records, but here we have it. The first two tracks follow a more power metal path and a heavy keyboard influence, ‘Lionheart’ and the album title track are not bad tracks don’t get me wrong, they are cool, but they don’t jump out from the older European scene for me, the title track leads with a vocal and a nice acoustic piece before entering the realms of galloping metal. Although on the plus side, ‘Lionheart’ has a great guitar solo and titanic melody.
Then comes the most excellent ‘I Want the World…And Everything in It”. On this track, there is a real buzz of excitement from the tempo, a fist pumping experience, a foot tapping sense of fun like U.D.O’s material actually. The sound maybe actually a little softer, but the stance of the track oozes energy and excitement. ‘Madness’ reminds me of Deris era Helloween, there’s some nice group efforts going on here, plenty of opportunity to sing along with the track, this will work well live I am sure. ‘Sea of Dreams’ is a strong emotive ballad, something the Battle Beast intended to do on this release, that is convey more emotion, it comes across well, but doesn’t sound like your typical metal ballad, more in the melodic rock spectrum. For metal and pure metal, go with ‘Speed and Danger’, this is probably my favourite of the album. Thundering drumming props up a harsher metal vocal approach from Noora Louhimo whilst still maintaining strong higher register wails. The vocals don’t falter one bit actually through this album, my little niggle is the extended use of keyboards in some quarters, that’s simply my personal preference.
‘Touch in the Night’ is an odd one, play this in the car and its sound different to a real stereo. At first listen I was reminded by ‘Big in Japan’ by Alphaville and even Vixen, yeah I know. It has that poppy stance on a bigger system but the dynamic has more legs and power. Musically this one is not very metal, the vocals give this one a pat on the back and are the main focus for me. So skipping onto ‘Hero’s Quest’, this is a galloping instrumental track, a sort of call to arms tune, a perfect intro tune but more suited as a starting track to the album, it’s strange to place it where it is in the album playlist. ‘Far Far Away’ is the last genuine metal monster on the album, this still has a influence coming from two bands that they have recently toured with (U.D.O. and Sabaton) musically and the vocal melodies, well these are really strong, you can’t fault them truthfully.
The more I listen to this album, the more I am impressed, the melodies are top notch, they were on previous albums, but here they have expanded their musical heritage, taken some influence from some big hitters and made an album that a touch more general than the pure metal tag I had with these on the last two releases. This is still a strong effort, it’s a touch different so it’s not fair to say it’s better than the last one, in a way it is, it’s a damn fine strong recording that’s destined to be on many a fan’s playlist following release, critically there are a few too many ballads on the album, but the vocals and melodies are fantastic.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)