Noora Louhimo - Battle Beast
Finland's out of contol, and sometimes over the top Battle Beast are ready to let it roar as they promote their third album of madness, speed and danger; available through Nuclear Blast this month. This is the second golden age release to feature the talents of the lionhearted femine presence of Noora Louhimo.
I began the new year reaching out in cyberspace and sparking up a conversation with her about her efforts on 'Unholy Savior'. Never one to shut down, this blonde ninja was more than pleased to comply with my pestering interrogation. So heed the angel's cry, honor her victory, and enter the metal world of this die-hard warrior of steel.
MettleAngel: Congratulations on your new album. I was a big supporter of the self-titled which was released in 2013, even if it took a bit longer to come out here in the states. Now that you have been in the band for over two years, do you feel that you are the best choice for the direction, for which the band is now heading?
MettleAngel: That is reassuring. With the two videos you have so far released to support 'Unholy Savior', the music at times seems to be aiming towards a more commercial direction. The debut 'Steel' was straight forward Power Metal, evoking the glory days of compatriots Sinergy. With some of the newer material, I am hearing inclinations towards acts such as newer Nightwish, Within Temptation, Xandria, or even Amberian Dawn, but not always as epic or evocative. Would you agree, or disagree?
MettleAngel: That is very probative. I would have preferred that, as well! Serious songs such as "Madness", "Speed And Danger", or "Lionheart" still maintain that Power Metal potential, with a hint of Doro, Warlock, Messiah Force, etc., but ballads like "Sea Of Dreams" or "Angel Cry" tend to remind me of what Liv Kristine does on her solo work. Was this intentional?
MettleAngel: Has anyone ever told you that you sing like Jutta Weinhold of Velvet Viper or Zed Yago? Have you contributed to the songwriting? How have you adapted your musical background to the way in which Battle Beast play and perform?
MettleAngel: In my last interview with Eero Sipilä, he told me that the band did not care for the "Female-Fronted" description. He feels the band is much more like the Traditional English acts. I do hear these influences, but I still cannot help noticing that Finnish sound associated with many Power Metal bands from this region. How would you respond to this statement?
MettleAngel: They did dismiss Nitte Valo who sang on the debut 'Steel'. Apparently, she was older, and just not into the music. You seem to have the right attitude. Do you feel that certain forces, whether they be the label, management, or the band themselves are pulling you in a more commercial direction as suggested on "Touch In The Night" which almost borders on what Amaranthe are doing, minus the harsh vocals. On the debut, there were a few male grunts here, and there, are those now no longer part of the style?
MettleAngel: I respect that. You mentioned that Anton is the main songwriter, so who writes the lyrics? What are the main inspirations for the lyrics?
MettleAngel: Does he also write all the lyrics? Do you know what are the main inspirations for his lyrics?
MettleAngel: I am not too familiar with that. I must say that a title like 'Unholy Savior' sounds and suggests an evil quality, but the music does not necessarily come across as such. What is this song about, and why did the band choose to name the album with this title?
MettleAngel: I did not look at it that way, or even notice a woman on the cover until you have now drawn my attention to it, thusly. I suppose if Anton's familair is the Battle Beast and / or Unholy Savior, then the sacred woman would mirror his celebration for his art. We may both be reading too much into it, though. I do feel that the song "Hero's Quest' is by far the best song on the new album. Therefore, maybe Anton is the Hero on a quest to make his mettle his Metal.
MettleAngel: Yeah, and fans of early Dark Moor, White Skull, Dawn Of Destiny, or even more recent artists like Italy's Ancient Bards will really appreciate this track, and several others. Speaking of the awesome artwork, who is your artist? Does he have the image painted before the album is complete, or does he create the artwork based on the album itself? It is the same guy who did the self-titled?
MettleAngel: I agree, and it is definitely Metal! I have to admit, when I saw the two videos last month, I was skeptical of the new material, as I so adore the last two efforts. Although, after playing the music and speaking with you, I have grown to acknowledge that there are songs for everyone, as you related. I am grateful that there are still enough fast and powerful tracks to satisfy fans and avid supporters of the band. Thank you for your time!
MettleAngel: Noora, thank you for your time!