Lady Beast – Vicious Breed (Cruz Del Sur Music)

Wednesday, 22nd November 2017
Rating: 9/10

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has attained nicknames like Iron or Steel City because of it being one of the largest producers of steel in the world. It’s also the home of this quintet Lady Beast, together since 2009 and releasing two albums plus an EP prior to signing with the old school minded Cruz Del Sur Music for the third full-length Vicious Breed. The correlation between home town and steel becomes easily apparent when taking in these eight tracks – as the band has a lot in common with true, traditional metal with a bevy of older 80’s/NWOBHM licks and tricks.

Lady Beast live for a time when setting the mood can vary from track to track – the calm, clean stillness for “Seal the Hex” giving chase to a catchy, twin guitar harmony that put Thin Lizzy on the map, or the punk-like guitar/rhythm section cut and chase ethics throughout “Get Out” where often bassist Greg Colaizzi ups the ante a la Steve Harris in a three-horse unison effort to drive home that musical hook to the audience. Natural production values and tones appropriately capture the down to earth, plug in and jam vibe Lady Beast prefer to get across – something many modern bands could take a page or two from instead of squashing sounds into digitally compressed sequences. Executing a dramatically building five-minute instrumental in “Sky Graves” that showcases the talents of guitarists Andy Rampage and Chris Tritschler in the best Maiden-esque way possible, it’s very evident that the quintet professes a love of Judas Priest, Accept, Dio, and Mercyful Fate – even injecting a bit of fairytale-oriented harmony hook elements to personal favorite “Every Giant Shall Fall”.

Deborah Levine as a singer conveys the lyrics with proper emotional magnitude and resonance- you feel the warriors that she speaks of, the anger, the pain, the struggle, the victories in songs like “The Way” and the title cut. Her delivery is cut from the classic mold – much like Doro Pesch or Leather Leone as benchmarks to the metal cause. From the band logo to the striking cover and the music as a whole, Vicious Breed lives for that 1978-1983 period of heavy metal where people just wanted to rock out, have a good time, and bang their heads for stress release.

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