Beware The Beast In Black

The Finnish heavy metal quintet BEAST IN BLACK has just released its debut full-length album “Berserker”. Metalpaths caught up with the fellow countryman and singer of the band Yannis Papadopoulos who thankfully answered our questions.

Hello Yannis! The first Beast In Black record “Berserker” comes out on the 3rd of November via Nuclear Blast records. Could you tell us more about the band to the ones that are not familiar with it? Where did the name come from?

Beast In Black is a Finnish-based heavy metal band founded in 2015. Anton Kabanen is the founder and visionary of the band. He just wanted to continue the “Beast” thing going on. The main inspiration behind the “Beast” is the anime “Berserk”, and the name reflects the hatred of the main character (Guts) after he is betrayed by his best ally in battle and friend.

What are your thoughts now that the record is done? Are you satisfied with the final result?

This record is in the making for some time now, so everyone has done their best, and we avoided as many mistakes as possible. Personally, I couldn’t be any happier! It’s quite the ideal debut, if you ask me !

The first singles “Blind And Frozen” and “Beast In Black” received some amazing feedback from fans of mostly Battle Beast. Yet it differentiates from them. Was that Kabanen’s intention, or something that came out naturally while writing the songs?

Anton is a great and such a natural composer. He’s always following his instincts and the natural flow of the song, never tries to forge something just to avoid the ‘norm’ ! I can safely say that he has a personal sound and style of composing songs that it only makes sense that at least some of it reminisces his older work. Come to think of it, he was doing all the songwriting in Battle Beast anyway!

Speaking of songwriting, how easy was it adjusting your voice to what Kabanen wanted to do with Beast In Black? Did it come out naturally as well, due to the heavy-metal-oriented songwriting or was it more of a challenge for you?

There’s always a challenge in every new song, no matter how fitting it may seem for one’s voice. The upside was that we knew each other for almost two years and talked about vocal melodies/ideas and such, and we had also rehearsed some songs, so Anton started to learn my voice, its weaknesses and its strengths ! So, when in the studio, we kinda knew what to do and how!

Kabanen faced one of the biggest shocks being kicked out of Battle Beast, despite being their founding member. Yet the audience seems to be on his “side” so to speak when it comes to reactions to new material. Did that feedback boost his confidence when creating Beast In Black?

By common sense, I would say that positive feedback is always welcome and indeed makes someone feel good! But, oh well, I think it would be more fair if we let the man himself answer that question, so things can be clearer!

“Blind And Frozen” was a more romantic song lyric-wise, while on the other hand “Beast In Black” was focused on the violent manga/anime series “Berserk”. Are those two indicators of the lyrical diversity of the band? Who takes care of the lyrical content?

Both music and lyrics were taken care of Anton, who’s the visionary of this band. Indeed these two songs are quite a good indicator, but there’s even more to “Berseker” if you go through the whole album. You will find out, eventually !

Where do you draw inspiration from, when writing vocal lines? Which are your biggest influences vocally?

Well, in this album, my influence on the vocal lines was minimal ; just small nuances here and there, bringing my own style more alive in the songs ! But, in general, I always like having as easy and catchy vocal lines as possible. Maybe that’s why I didn’t actually NEED to change stuff on this album, because Anton also thinks the same way! If I had to mention 5 singers, I’d go with Bruce Dickinson, Dio, Roy Khan, Russell Allen and Matt Barlow. But there’s tons of more awesome singers in that list, which have played a defining role in the way I’m currently singing !

Let’s go to your main band: any news from Wardrum? It’s almost been a year since the previous one “Awakening”. When can we expect the next one?

I’d like to think of both bands as my main bands! I think of them equally and love each one for its own reasons. Things have been going well, there has been some good planning and we’re expecting to apply it during 2018! You’re definitely getting news from Wardrum camp soon. For the time being, we have been doing rehearsals and we’re anticipating the Athens gig on December 15th, so, we’re expecting you there !!!

Any thoughts of bringing Beast In Black to Greece for a gig? Or even touring together with Wardrum? What are your future plans as Beast In Black?

During touring talks, we’ve already mentioned Greece, and everyone says that at least the Athens-Thessaloniki duo would indeed be amazing. All of us know that we’re going to have a great time when those gigs get indeed arranged ! Well touring together with Wardrum, I don’t know if any singer has done that before. I think it would be impossible to pull off both shows and sing at my 100% . Well maybe for one gig, but after that, maybe I would just look for a bed to lay my dead corpse on!

That was about it Yannis, thanks a lot for your time it’s been a huge honor, the final words are yours!

It’s always a blast talking with Metalpaths and it’s entertaining to answer such intriguing questions! I hope there is a clearer picture about lots of things now! Until next time, wishes for a great winter season and rock n’ roll to all Metalpaths readers out there!