Sunday, 27 January 2013

Baptists - "Bushcraft" (Album Review)

By: Richard Powley    

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/2/2013
Label: Southern Lord
  


Opening with the feedback-laden “Betterment”, it doesn’t take long for Baptists to unveil their modus operandi, ripping your fucking face off!  Combining elements of sludge, d-beat and punk-fuelled hardcore, this is one pissed off record.  Bleak, powerful and relentless, yet with the power to reign things in when needed, Baptists have created a superb debut album, that’s sure to feature among the best of this year crust, hardcore and sludge releases.


“Bushcraft” CD//DD//LP track Listing

1) Betterment (2:22)
2) Think Tank Breed (1:23)
3) Bullets (3:31)
4) In Droves (2:09)
5) Still Melt (2:40)
6) Mortar Head (1:49)
7) Crutching Trails (1:26)
8) Bushcraft (2:41)
9) Soiled Roots (5:07)
10) Russian Spirits (1:33)
11) Abandon (2:47)

The Review

Southern Lord have been digging deep into blackened and crust hardcore of late along with their trademark drone and extreme metal, and one of the latest bands to get the Southern Lord treatment is Vancouver’s Baptists.

Along with label mates Black Breath, Baptists have also recorded with Converges Kurt Ballou at his Godcity Studios, and the production values have done wonders for them. Every note and drum beat is clearly audible through the crusty mix, but without the sheen and polish that drags down so many modern hardcore records. Opening with the feedback-laden “Betterment”, it doesn’t take long for Baptists to unveil their modus operandi, ripping your fucking face off!
Combining elements of sludge, d-beat and punk-fuelled hardcore, this is one pissed off record.

Over the course of “Bushcraft”, Baptists rarely take a breath, all the while led by one of the angriest vocal performance I’ve heard in recent times and a drummer who wreaks havoc across each track. The pace doesn’t let up until the fifth track “Still Melt” a more melodic moment on the album that benefits from some sneakily droning feedback in the verses, complimented by a pummelling mid paced chorus.

The more doom laden title track is a firm highlight of the second side of the record, introducing some sparse atmospherics into Baptists bleak world outlook, and its here we can see that even on their debut LP, Baptists have a great control over dynamics and when to bring things down a notch for maximum effect.  After this slight respite the album shifts back to full blown attack again, ending the album with the spectacular “Abandon” , beginning with machine gun drums before breaking into what can only be described as a brilliantly catchy riff that ends the album on an almost positive note.

Bleak, powerful and relentless, yet with the power to reign things in when needed, Baptists have created a superb debut album, that’s sure to feature among the best of this year crust, hardcore and sludge releases.


Band info: Facebook | Store | Bandcamp 

1 comment:

Rowdie Richie said...

Spot on review, especially in regard to their mastery of dynamics; their subtleties can take the simplest riff and make it explode in your head by the end of the song. Abandon does indeed cap the album off in a grand fashion.