Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Baptism : "V-the Devil's Fire"

 This raw black metal beast from Finland proves it has a soft spot for melody on it's newest album. It surprised me when these lower clean vocals came in at the final minute of the first song that had raged with an almost punk energy. When it occurred in a similar spot on the second song then it was clear there was some kind of formula taking place. Even though the vocals here are higher and handled more like something Enslaved might do. The title track rages in more of a forward charge full blast ahead. When they are in this mode of attack the band reminds me a little of 1349. I'm not sure they slipped a guitar solo in previous to this song, but the first one that caught my attention also crops up on the title track.

"Abyss' has a much slower pulse, which is what they album needed. The clean vocals return in more of a choral refrain following a melodic guitar line. "Cold Eternity" is a little more double bass driven and the melody of the guitar shifts, but in the dynamic flow of the album comes across more like a lateral shift. The guitar solos on this album help break things up. "Malignant Shadows" starts off slower and works it way up into a frenzy. Nothing new occurs here, but they continue to blaze on their angry path. The album closes with "Buried With Him". This song has plenty of blast beats and builds off the established mood.

These guys are good at what they do and have the potential to cover a vaster landscape of sound, but this high energy style of dark and grim black metal is pretty solid. The rasped vocals are mostly in a some what croaked mid range, the clean vocals and synths are not over done and this album is pretty tasteful. Sure it's not the most original album, but if you are tired of all your old 1349 albums and want something new with a little more melody in places then this album is for you. I'll give it an 8.

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