Monday, December 22, 2014

#6 of my Top 12 Albums of 2014: Noble Beast

Noble Beast's Noble Beast

Release Date: March 25th, 2014
Label: Tridroid Records
Genre: Power Metal

     Talk about bands coming out of nowhere, Noble Beast emerged on the metal landscape with their debut album early this year in March and cause quite a large wave of excitement from critics and metal fans all over the internet.  Noble Beast is a strange beast for a couple of reasons, one of which being that they come from America.  Now some will look at that sentence and say "Yeah? So what?"  Well the significance here is that hardly any bands of the Power Metal genre emerge from North America and stay relevant.  Hell, I can count the amount of notable American Power Metal bands on one hand, two if you stretch it, but those primary Power Metal bands being Iced Earth, Kamelot, Manowar and Circle II Circle, most of whom have a much larger following overseas, where the market is much more friendly for this brand of music.  Noble Beast, however, got their fame, at least from what I can tell, from the internet, so for once in quite a long time, I have to thank the internet for spreading such a wonderful surprise to the masses.

     This, as I said previously, is Noble Beast's debut album, but I will try to explain what I have discovered about this band via research, though my research may not be completely correct; it IS the internet, after all.  So, Noble Beast came out with their first album this year but these Minnesota Metalers trace their roots back to at least 2010, when they were playing smaller shows in their native St. Paul and trying to sell and spread their demo around, though they reportedly formed in 2007.  Sadly, they were never picked up by a major label and to this day, stay relatively independent, or at least that is what I can discern about "Tridroid Records" anyway.  They began to play more notable and appropriate shows like opening for Symphony X, Cage, Flotsam and Jetsam and even opened for a show on the Paganfest tour earlier this year.  These shows helped spread the word of Noble Beast around a bit, but it wasn't until Noble Beast was released on Bandcamp that their popularity started to flood in for them.  Since the release, they have been getting nothing but praise, and rightly so, and have become my favorite North American Metal surprise since I ran into Instanzia a few years back (A Noble Beast/Instanzia tour would be amazing by the way!).  Let's look at why this album is so highly regarded:

"We Burn"

     These songs are simply epic, and in the best way possible.  A majority of the tracks tend to last for at least six minutes each but they never overstay their welcome, on the contrary the second a song ends, you'll want to start it again.  Let's start though with the production of the album, which is astounding, you hear me, ASTOUNDING, particularly for an independent album.  You can have the best music in the world, put on a hell of a live show, but if your album sounds like garbage, odds are you won't make it far, but with Noble Beast, it sounds like these guys just released their ninth album.  Its so crisp and precise and not a single moment of a song goes to waste, it all combines together for one hell of a punch that you'll definitely be feeling in the morning, and you'll want to experience it again and again.  On the other side of things, you can have great production but shit for music (hence most of the pop world today) but as I've been explaining, Noble Beast is the whole package.  The musicianship is superb all-around.  Sir Robert and Matt Hodsdon lead the way on their explosive guitars, creating fast and precise melodies that you'll be hearing in your head for days.  David the Wrathchild (David Thames), the man with the sticks, deserves an award for his performance here.  Did I say and award? I mean seven.  A lot of times in power metal, people dismiss the drummer and the bassist, claiming that the Guitars and Vocals are the most important part.  David, I am sure, would have something to say about that and Noble Beast is his audio testimony showing how important and fucking incredible the drumming in a Power Metal album can be.  I am hoping their new drummer, Rasmussen, is just as good but with Noble Beast's quality, I am sure they would only hire the best.  As for the bass, I honestly wish I could hear it a little more than we do, as the Guitars tend to overpower the bass significantly, but the pieces I can pull out, particularly in "Nothing To Repent", sounds great.

"Nothing To Repent"

     The last thing I need to talk about is Sir Robert's vocals.  Actually, what is there to talk about? Listen for yourselves, then clean yourself up because you will have just undoubtedly emptied your bowels and imploded your head at how astounding these vocals are.  They are a little odd for the genre, as many vocalists tend toward the higher pitches, but Sir Robert's baritone voice fits in perfectly for this uber-manly music.  See that? Its so manly I just put UBER in front of that shit.  I am not joking around here, Sir Robert's vocals physically force your balls to grow larger and a beard to magically appear on your chin.  Sure, his voice tends toward the higher ranges at points of certain choruses, but that only adds a nice juxtaposition and makes the songs feel even more alive.

"Peeling Back The Veil"

     These guys have all the skill of seasoned veterans playing since the 80's and if their music doesn't captivate your from start to finish, you probably have no soul.  there, I said it.  This album should probably be listed at Number 1 in terms of albums of 2014 because it is perfect.  I cannot find a single element wrong with this album and I just want to have it playing as a soundtrack to my life, no matter what I am doing.  I want it playing when I am running, driving, sleeping, listening to other music, having sex, taking a shit, doing my taxes, and obviously when I am riding my own personal lava-spewing dinosaur into a desolate wasteland full of lightning and the blood of my enemies.  Since I have not had this album too long, it is only this high, but if you want a recommendation for an album to buy off this list, no matter what genre you may listen to, its Noble Beast.  Pure perfection in musical form.  It is eight dollars on Bandcamp and even if it was eighty dollars, I would recommend it.

Click here for Noble Beast's official Facebook page
Click here to buy Noble Beast on Bandcamp

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