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Baalberith – Manhunt

by Gary Hernandez at 25 May 2021, 9:16 AM

BAALBERITH is a fairly popular name for metal bands. There are currently three active bands under that moniker. The focus of this review is the Death Metal band out of Plock, Poland. They formed in 2015 and released one split in 2017. Since then, they have adjusted and expanded their lineup from a trio to a quintet. On March 25, 2021 they released their debut full-length album, “Manhunt,” through Godz ov War productions. The album comprises seven brutal tracks and clocks out at just over half an hour.

Here’s the thing about BAALBERITH, their lyrics are ruthless but their music, while provocative and percussive, is surprisingly refined and melodic. The compositions are both exceptionally arranged and impeccably executed. I mean, some of these tunes positively stick in your head like ear cocaine. And while you might find yourself humming some of the tunes as you stroll around the office, you probably want to refrain from singing the lyrics out loud. Just saying.

The guitar work of Silentstorm and Scub is masterful, from the interlaced harmonies to the gorgeous solos to the savage riffs, these are some top-notch performances. The rhythm section of Killem and Wraith is also superb. The bass work on “Your Last Step,” for instance, is first-rate. The ultra-baritone vocals of Left pull it all together with his guttural but articulate delivery.

Best tracks are hard to pin down on this album because every track has some outstanding merits. My personal favorites were “Son of Sam,” “Your Last Step,” and the final track, “Tons of Mud.” This last track is the longest on the album and, perhaps as a consequence, has some of the more interesting movements. Most notable is the seismic shift at the 3:44 mark when the song down shifts and takes on Doom proportions. The lyrics of this song are also the heaviest — not from a brutal Death perspective but from a philosophical perspective. They read as an indictment against humanity. If you ever wondered where all the aggression and brutality of Death metal comes from, this song will give you a hint. It is not so much an instinctive perversity and hatred for mankind so much as a visceral reaction to the human condition.

I have to admit I was surprised by this album. I was expecting a stereotypical Death Metal band — you know, wall of noise built up to mask an inability to play actual notes and lyrics torn out of the latest fan fiction Necronomicon. What I got was some exceptionally talented musicians belting out some primeval but nuanced tracks. I have to admit, I haven’t heard the other bands carrying the BAALBERITH name but in my book, there can now only be one.

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

4 Star Rating

1.  22
2.  I Know Your Future
3.  Son of Sam
4.  Your Last Step
5.  Day's Covered Eyes
6.  Bones and Teeth
7.  Tons of Mud
Killem – Bass
Silentstorm – Guitars
Left – Vocals
Wraith – Drums
Scub – Guitars
Record Label: Godz ov War Productions


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