If you lived in Pittsburgh (like I do) and spent years reading local media (like I have), you’d barely know there was a metal scene here. I literally was told by a local music writer that he has conducted surveys, and there is no interest in metal coverage. See, you have to expand that survey beyond white guys in their 50s and 60s. Yet, metal thrives in the city streets, so fuck the local media.
Anyway, one band that has garnered some attention, and rightfully so, is throwback metal band Lady Beast. They were just featured on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” episode on Pittsburgh, and they recently signed with indie metal powerhouse Cruz del Sur. They now are coming back at us with their third record “Vicious Breed,” one that should expose them to a much wider audience and help Pittsburgh’s metallic reputation grow even further. If you’ve ever seen the band in a smaller room, you know they have an energy and presence that extends well beyond that. Vocalist Deborah Levine is a powerhouse who has that gift of projecting to the person standing in the very back of the room, making that individual feel just as big a part of the show as those up front. The rest of the band—guitarists Andy Ramage and Chris Tritschler, bassist Greg Colaizzi, and drummer Adam Ramage—are just as mighty, delivering massive, NWOBHM-influenced metal that is heavy, energized, and a load of fun to absorb. This new record is a wisely timed effort of eight tracks over 36 minutes, and it’s impossible not to get swept up in their assault.
“Seal the Hex” is an ideal opener, as after its somber first few minutes, it begins trucking and unloading. The pace speeds up, while Levine is in total command, and while the chorus is a simple callback of the title, it’s one that should have show-goers yelling it back to them in unison, “The Way” has guitars chugging, a huge, rousing chorus, and Levine defiant that she will not be taking orders from anyone but herself. That empowerment bleeds through every element of this song, causing your blood to surge through your veins. “Lone Hunter” is arguably the strongest song on the record, with blazing riffs and Levine calling over the infectious chorus, “My story’s frozen in time, my body’s no longer mine!” A classic-sounding gallop rips through the final minutes and gives this a hammering end. “Always With Me” pays honor to fallen souls, as the tempo is a little slower but still powerful, and Levine laments, “I wish this reality wasn’t true.” But there’s no time to wallow, as the song kicks into higher gear, and Levine vows, “You will always be remembered in my heart and in my soul.”
“Get Out” brings back the attitude, where, once again, Levine promises that anyone standing in her way will be flattened. The track sounds like one that would make a road warrior explode with strength as he or she rides into the sunset. “Every Giant Shall Fall” has razor-sharp dual guitar lines, setting the stage for a bloody battle. “They’ll turn to stone and we shall crush!” Levine promises, while the guitars glisten, the rhythm section throws punches, and the cut comes to a victorious end. “Sky Graves” is an instrumental piece, one that has no problem handling the storytelling without the benefit of words. After a clean start, the band hits a stretch of emotional metallic melodies. The guitars form a twin beast, while the song comes to an earth-shaking finish. The title track closes the record, getting a vicious start to things and dumping a ton of thrashy goodness. “Formed from seeds of a man and a beast!” Levine wails as the band hits the gas pedal, the melodies swelter, and the track comes to a punishing end.
Lady Beast have a huge opportunity to explode past the city limits and capture the rest of the world with “Vicious Breed.” This is metal that unites, reminding listeners that we can be one under this music’s banners, and that everything else doesn’t matter. They are helping carry the torches lit by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Warlock, and Dio before them, and in their capable hands, the fires can remain burning brightly for years to come.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ladybeastofficial/
To buy the album, go here: https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/