Beast In Black - 'Dark Connection' Album Review
1. Blade Runner
2. Bella Donna
3. Highway to Mars
5. One Night In Tokyo
6. Moonlight Rendezvous
7. Revengeance Machine
8. Dark New World
9. To The Last Drop of Blood
10. Broken Survivors
11. My Dystopia
12. Battle Hymn
13. They Don’t Care About Us
I was excited when I saw a new Beast in Black album in my inbox for review. As much as I was ambivalent towards their previous album “From Hell With Love” as a whole (due to the inconsistent nature of good and forgettable songs), one track from it (the absolute belting closer “No Surrender”) has been on various of my playlists since it came out, and for me it really highlighted just how good this band could be at their best. So I was hopeful that “Dark Connection” was going to improve upon the bad points of the previous album and smash it out the park.
The good news is that the album starts very strong indeed. “Blade Runner” is a banger of an opening track, kicking off with a keyboard riff that will stay in your head long after you’ve turned the album off, and it powers through showcasing the absolute best that this band has to offer, and the quality stays in place throughout the top half of the album. In fact, the first eight tracks are all superb, with track five “One Night In Tokyo” feeling like a bit of a departure, as it almost feels like it’s trying to be a very heavy Eurodance track, but somehow it works!
Sadly, the album takes a small dip into ‘songs that are less memorable’ territory with track nine “To The Last Drop Of Blood”, which isn’t bad, per se, just not as good a song as the preceding eight are. The album takes one more detour into genius with the next song “Broken Survivors”, and then settles back into unmemorable for the last three tracks, which include a pair of covers – their take on Manowar’s “Battle Hymn” followed by the bizarre Michael Jackson cover “They Don’t Care About Us”. The Manowar cover is fine, but the Michael Jackson one just doesn’t work for me at all – not different enough to be memorable, but not brilliant enough to stand out.
By my maths, that means that I think that nine out of thirteen songs on this album are absolute, five star brilliance. Which (for those of you who like maths) means that 70% of the album is untouchably good. Lets be honest, most bands would kill for those kind of odds! The sound of the album as well is really good – well mixed and brilliantly produced, so that it feels dynamic and exciting and generally well made all the way through.
To conclude, this album is almost everything I wanted it to be. Is it cheesy in the way that all the best Power Metal is cheesy? Absolutely. Does it give you a nice wide range of styles? Not really – “My Dystopia” is the only ballad or slower tune on offer here, and it’s one of the least memorable on the album. However, there is something about the enthusiasm that this band brings to the table that really elevates this album for me. If you made an album of just the first eight tracks, then this would be a five star record no question, and hopefully in the future, they’ll do just that. With “Dark Connection” they’ve made great strides in the right direction, providing an album that is strong with the occasional weak point, as opposed to their previous one which was a mishmash of both strong and weak.
Website - beastinblack.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/beastinblackofficial
Review - Michael Braunton