Band: Lady Beast
Album: Vicious Breed
Label: Cruz Del Sur
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 17 November, 2017
I’m sitting here writing this review while ruminating on the death of Malcolm Young and I can’t help but think about what a large contribution Malcolm gave to the world of music, much less what he gave to the Metal genre. People like him assured that we would eventually get bands such as Lady Beast, heavy, melodic, powerful riffing not in the least based on his work in AC/DC, but indebted to it nonetheless. Raise your horns for Malcolm, folks, a true maestro of the Riff.
So, now we have the newest release from Lady Beast, a band born from the East Coast of the USA that wields NWOBHM, thrash, classic rock, and whatever else they deem necessary to their sound, with equal skill, aplomb, and abandoned. Fronted by Deborah Levine, a lady with some serious pipes, they bring back a more classic, 80’s form of Metal, along the likes of Riot and Armored Saint, mixing in the aforementioned speed of the NWOBHM. Guitarists Andy Ramage and Chris Tritschler certainly know what they’re doing, and they really tear it up here, along with bassist Greg Colaizzi and thundering drummer Adam Ramage. This group work as a coherent unit, united to bring you the Metal, my friends, in a pure and unrelenting way. They play with passion and it shows in every note, every chorus. In short, if you like traditional Metal, this is definitely for you.
“Seal the Hex” opens the album with some serene, atmosphere-building melodicism, before ripping into a full-on assault. This song cruises while it rocks, giving you a good preview of what’s to come. If you don’t like this song, you might as well jump off board, because more of the same is headed your way. Which isn’t to say this sounds samey. On first listen, the record didn’t impress me much, but on subsequent listens, the nuances and the little guitar flourishes really stand out.
Sort-of ballad “Always With Me” is an anthem dedicated to a lost loved one. You can really feel the heart coming from this song, the sense of loss, anguish, and pain, but it never becomes maudlin or weepy. Instead, singer Levine turns it into a stirring psalm, a pledge of remembrance that really rivals any battle hymn ever before recorded. It feels epic, especially the ending. I can see the raised fists during the live shows. And I suppose this is a ballad, but it sure doesn’t feel like it, because it does rock, in its own way. This is superb stuff.
“Get Out” roars from the gates as a follow-up to “Always With Me” and man, does it scorch the earth. It’s the kind of song that could be corny, in lesser hands, but is absolutely fantastic in the care of Lady Beast. Fast, violent, fun, and defiant. Can you ask anything more of your Metal?
“Sky Graves” is a song I particularly love because of it has a great title and is full of dramatics and dynamics. It starts with a melodic guitar opening, emotive and expressive, and it builds, and builds, and builds until it pops, and then it just roars. Epic, epic, epic. I also want to throw a special “good job” to bassist Colaizzi on this track. Fantastic playing on his part.
Lady Beast delivers the goods. If you’re a fan of traditional Metal, the kind you used to get with great frequency in the 80’s, then you will love this record. It’s got a great feel, played with lots of passion and affection for the genre, and with nary a misstep. This one rocks, period. And I like to think Malcom would be proud of them, these children of his lineage, and somewhere in Rock n’ Roll Heaven, he’s lifting a glass to salute them.
1. Seal The Hex
2. The Way
3. Lone Hunter
4. Always With Me
5. Get Out
6. Every Giant Shall Fall
7. Sky Graves
8. Vicious Breed
Total Playing Time: 36:19