HB – The Battle of God


HB - The battle of GodHB (an acronym for “Holy Bible”) is a symphonic metal band that originally formed in Forssa around 2002. They have started doing English versions of their original Finnish releases, but with completely new arrangements for each song. This does mean that they are able to breathe new life into them.

The band consists of Johanna Aaltonen (lead vocals), Antti Niskala (piano/keyboards/male vocals), Kaj Henrik “Bob” Kanervo (guitar), Sofia Ylinen (guitar), Tuomas Kannisto (bass) and Samuel Mäki-Kerttula (drums). Their main releases are ‘Uskon Puolesta’ (2004), ‘Enne’ (2006), ‘Frozen Inside’ (2008 ~ English version of ‘Enne’), ‘Piikki Lihassa’ (2008), ‘Pääkallonpaikka’ (2010), ‘The Jesus Metal Explosion’ (2010 ~ English version of ‘Piikki Lihassa’) and ‘The Battle Of God’ (2011 ~ English version of ‘Uskon Puolesta’).

Being a female fronted band that specialises in symphonic metal, they have often compared to Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil. However, on this album they have pushed the keyboard into the background and brought the drums and guitar up front. Opening with ‘Time Of Silence’ they allow bursts of squalling guitar “Save me from myself, I cannot tell what’s best for me / Save me from myself, for you are all I’ll ever need / Save me from myself, I cannot live without your love / Save us from ourselves, please help us see what we have done”.

The untitled 2nd track takes a jagged guitar riff and wraps it around a staccato vocal. Then ‘The Battle Of God’ allows the keyboard equal space alongside the guitar and Johanna’s vocals soar “The battle of God needs the strongest of hands / The bravest is he who declares where he stands / So come on all ye faithful, you heroes of God / Die to the world, be alive in Christ”.

Besides the thumping metal, there is a worshipful ballad ‘Hallelujah’, which shows off tender vocals and harmonies with classical string arrangements. There is also a quirky section in ‘Lost’ where they move from swarthy guitar into a jazzy interlude. ‘Find Out!’ has a melodic feel that slows builds orchestral elements and allows space for a superb guitar solo. Finally, ‘Away From Home’ takes a softly plucked ballad that meanders thoughtfully “His lips were searching for words that would be right / Wondrous Father you will lead me heaven high / Give me your strength, I need you here by my side / I’m feeling so far away from home”.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby

Track list:
1. Time of Silence
2. Unnamed
3. The Battle of God
4. Love me
5. Hallelujah
6. Lust
7. Lost
8. Find Out!
9. Away from Home

Johanna Aaltonen – Vocals
Antti Niskala – Piano/Drums
Tuomas Kannisto – Bass
Bob – Guitar
Sofia – Guitar

Label: Data Universum / 2011

Weblinks: Website Myspace 



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