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Ba'al - Ellipsism

Ba'al
Ellipsism
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 October 2020, 6:38 AM

Founded in 2016, BA’AL are a Post/Black Metal outfit based in Sheffield, UK. “Ellipsism” is the band’s debut full-length, and contains nine tracks. “Long Live” opens the album, at over ten-minutes in length. It begins with a fairly traditional Black Metal sound…vocal screams over a wall of guitars and galloping drums. Around the two-minute mark, it settles into an ambient passage. Then, it settles into a slower groove, with guitars building in the background. The riff turns menacing, as the vocals go to lower utterances.

“An Orchestra of Flies” opens with a low, lumbering riff and some big drum strikes. Then, it opens up to vocal screams and a wall of sound. Back to the big drum strikes, they vary it up a bit. It pauses again, bringing the Post Metal elements to life. The ending sequence is desolate. “XIV – I – MMXIX” is a very short one-minute instrumental, with soft but melancholy clean guitars. It segues into “Jouska,” which opens with just a bit of those clean guitars, but something is building like a shadow over your shoulder. The main sound drops and I like where the guitars, bass, and drums play tightly together. It’s Black Metal, but the amount of variation they manage to work in her amazes me.

“III – I – MMII” is another short, clean guitar piece that helps to break up some of the intensity of the lengthier tracks. It’s quite charming in its dark approach. “Tarred and Feathered” comes straight for your throat, with thick instrumental elements and vocal screams that could wake the dead. I appreciate the varied vocal approach as well. “Father, The Sea, The Moon” is a nine-minute opus. It has a slow and steady opening of both doleful and hopeful tones, but once the main riff comes in, it drops hard and without notice. Still, those hopeful elements remain. It takes a clean pause after the half-way mark, and the subtle melodies built are a nice change of pace for the album. Really well done here, guys.

“X – I – MCMXCII” is another two-minute break from the madness. Soft, atmospheric tones occupy the background here, with a bit of spoken word. “Rosalia” closes the album; a 12-minute track. At first, clean guitars lead a soft and somewhat charming way. Drums come in slowly as it starts to build. Those melodies are quite attractive. It isn’t until the half-way mark where the heaviness comes in along with vocal screams. Yet, some strings hang onto the melody. At this point, the song is utterly desolate. It could be an ode to a lost lover.

Overall, I found this album to be very unique. For traditionalists, the Black Metal blueprint is there. But for more experimental minds, these techniques come through strongly. Post Metal is really hard to describe, and I think those elements are present, but also subdued. There are surprises around every corner, with passages of other sub-genres of Metal like Doom, for example. This is a strong debut for a band that is not afraid to take some chances.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Long Live
2. An Orchestra of Flies
3. XIV – I – MMXIX
4. Jouska
5. III – II – MMIII
6. Tarred and Feathered
7. Father, The Sea, The Moon
8. X – I – MCMXCII
9. Rosalia
Lineup:
Nick Gosling – Guitars
Luke Rutter – Drums
Richard Spencer – Bass
Joe Stamps – Vocals
Record Label: Clobber Records
     


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