Vicious Breed is the third album from Pittsburgh heavy metal band Lady Beast. Odd name aside, from the off with ‘The Way’ they hit you with a very US sound that draws heavily on the twin roots of Maiden and Priest with a hard chugging rhythm and plenty of lead melody. The vocals from Deborah Levine are nice and edgy whilst still melodic, reminding me of Erika Morgenrau (ex-Ignitor, Morgenrau) as well as maybe a little of the metal queen herself Doro. With twin guitars, one of whom is Andy Ramage, ex-Argus, and a good old pounding rhythm section brought to life by a fair production this is pretty much what you’d expect; good polished heavy metal with a fair galloping pace and committed, aggressive vocals. The title track here is a great example of this, with Maiden-esque style and rhythm and a catchy little refrain, little flashes of Accept and Ignitor and a fair heart and soul delivery.

The problem here is there is no real problem at all really. Everything here is in place and you won’t hear many better US style heavy metal bands. They are tight as Hell, sound like they will be a fantastic live band and they are clearly all about delivering the goods (pun fully intended). They even do a pretty good instrumental in ‘Sky Graves’ which veers from outright Maiden into some of the melodic style that Argus are so good at. Nothing here is bad or that dull. Sadly though for me nothing leaps out and grabs me in a headbanging frenzy either and there are times when the Maiden influence is too damn strong, stifling the Lady Beast identity.

Honestly I don’t know what else to add. They are clearly a fine band and I should love them to bits. There are some amazing lead breaks in this album, really, and I love the vocals too but none of the songs carry me through in their entirety besides being ‘good’.

Yeah, it’s damming by faint praise, I know, and seriously if classy US metal is your thing give them a listen. Just with no songs fully grabbing me I’ll have to pass with great regret. 

(6.5/10 Gizmo)