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BAAL - Epitaphion

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 August 2020, 7:22 AM

Hailing from Portugal, BAAL was created back in 1999 as a side project of INNER HELVETE’s drummer, Arcanus, seeking to achieve a darker atmospheric sound and dismal audio landscapes. This is the band’s second album, and contains six tracks. “The Call of the Depths” leads off the album. It’s got that old school feeling to it, with muted production, and that wall of sound. The vocals are predictably screaming in nature, and the riff features that “on again and off again” two-step pattern. It gets just a little inventive along the way, but there isn’t much to carry it forward into the future of the genre.

“All Came to an End” features more of a desolate sound, with under-control guitars and drums for the most part. Vocals don’t come into play until after the half-way mark. They are of course vile and disruptive. “Wolves Gathering for the Hunt” is a seven-minute opus, opening with a fast passage of guitars and steady kick drumming. The steady flow of instrumentation keeps you entranced throughout. “A Dead Burden” opens slowly and with harrowing atmosphere. Then comes the scream, and the full Black Metal sound. Yet, this song is a little deadlier and desolate than previous ones.

“Souls Ceasing to be” feature a slower and steady approach, to let the music seep all the way into your bones. The guitars are on warning but not in full attack mode, and the feelings of desperation increase. “Disown the Essence of Letting go” is a faster moving song, but still without much in the way of variation. The attack is steady on your senses. Overall, although the album is harrowing, it just doesn’t offer much in the way of originality or breaking the cycle that these older Black Metal bands insist on living in. It’s all been done before, so why try to repeat it? I was once told that hell is repeating something over and over and expecting a different result at some point.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 3
Memorability: 1
Production: 4

1 Star Rating

1. The Call of the Depths
2. All Came to an End
3. Wolves Gathering for the Hunt
4. A Dead Burden
5. Souls Ceasing to be
6. Disown the Essence of Letting go
Arcanus – All Instruments & Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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