KK’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton played host to an evening of European rock. Indeed, this was a fantastic night’s entertainment featuring Future Palace, a Berlin post-hardcore trio and Finnish Metallers Battle Beast.
Battle Beast, Future Palace – KK’s Steel Mill – 15 September 2022
Words and Photography: Andy Shaw
Future Palace opened, and they did not disappoint. Their set was mainly made up of songs from their brilliant new album Run, opening with Dead Inside and then launching into Flames.
Maria’s Vocals moved between clean and growling, which made for a powerful compliment to Manuel’s booming guitar and Johannes’s drums. “It is our first time in Wolverhampton,” Maria said, “and only our second ever show in the UK.”
They then played Twisted and Ghost Chapter from their debut album Escape. During the later Maria got the crowd singing and they responded with full voice. Running through more songs from Run in Heads Up, Defeating Gravity and Break Free, the band never let up, and Maria kept her incredible vocal dexterity going throughout.
“Are you ready for our moving song?” Maria asked the Steel Mill Crowd, and they responded with cheers. “Well, move to this,” she said, and Fever was then followed by Locked.
Illusionist, from the Escape album, was a personal song for Maria. “This Escape album is about mental health and mental health issues,” she said, “and Illusionist is about domestic violence, something I went through. It should not happen, and we need to stop it and connect through music to begin to make it even more unacceptable.
They finished their brilliant set with Paradise. “This is our final song,” Maria said, “and we think of it as our theme tune. Never lose hope and hope for a better future.”
The scene was set for Finnish Metallers Battle Beast and it was wonderful. KK’s Steel Mill is such a brilliant venue and gave them the perfect platform to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at the crowd with a brilliant light show and copious amounts of dry ice and fireworks.
Opening with the title track from their sixth album, Circus Of Doom, the band came on with dry ice pumped up into the air. The arrival of Noora Louhimo on vocals with her horned headdress cut a stunning figure and she began how she meant to continue by belting the opener.
Next were two songs from their Bringer Of Pain album, Straight to The Heart and Familiar Hell. The evening had the feel of seeing a band giving an arena-style performance in an intimate setting.
Armageddon, from Circus of Doom, was next and is such a powerful song enhanced by more dry ice and fireworks. By now the crowd were in full voice and loving everything about Battle Beast. Another new song followed, Place That We Call Home, after which the touring guitarist was introduced. Joona Björkroth has been forced to take a temporary break from touring, so Atte Aho, one of the most accomplished young guitar players in Finland, was there to fill his shoes admirably. Atte played the introduction to Eye Of The Storm, and more dry ice and fireworks exploded onto the stage.
The band were now in full flow. Pyry Vikki, drums, Eero Sipila, bass, Juuso Soinio, guitar and Janne Bjorkroth, keyboard, were pumping out fantastic versions of their songs one after another.
However, Eero Sipila prepared a surprise song for the crowd asking, “You wanna hear it?” He contradicted himself saying, “no, you don’t wanna hear it do you?” The crowd cheered, demanding to hear it, and Battle Beast launched into their version of A Whole New World from Disney’s Aladdin, in which the crowd joined in. It was brief and rather lovely.
They were then back on track with Bastard Son Of Odin from Bringer of Pain, after which Noora said, “thank you for supporting Battle Beast and thank you for supporting live music.” Next was Russian Roulette from Circus Of Doom, during which the band were introduced, then Wings Of Light.
Still in her spectacular outfit, Noora said, “Wolverhampton, you are such an amazing audience. Let’s talk about dreams. We want to make a deal with everyone because you made our dreams come true and whatever dreams you have just go for it. My dream is to sing with you, so let’s do it in the next song.”
The fantastic set ended with Eden and a brilliant sing-a-long with the band and crowd, and Battle Beast left the stage.
The crowd started to demand an encore with rhythmic chanting, and they were rewarded. Battle Beast started with the Star Wars theme, then went into Darth Vader’s theme and followed by Master Of Illusion from Circus Of Doom. The beginning of one of the best encores I have seen in a long time.
After King For A Day, Battle Beast closed with an amazing version of Beyond The Burning Skies. This was a fitting end to a fantastic show.
It is hard to do justice in words to a Battle Beast live show. You must go and experience it for yourself.