Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

46 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

Baptism – V: The Devil’s Fire Award winner

V: The Devil’s Fire
by Jose Macall at 31 March 2017, 9:27 PM

Some people reference the old cliché of not judging a book by its cover. I’m not sure if that advice is supposed to transfer over to music, but BAPTISM makes an ominous first impression. We’re greeted with some kind of demonic figure ablaze with a flaming lion and bush in the backdrop. The symbolism is hellish and foreboding and it’s a perfect lead in to V: THE DEVIL’S FIRE.

After a brief intro track we’re treated to a frenetic volley of Black Metal warfare. There are the guttural agonized cries that are typical of the genre for vocals. What was great about this album was the willingness to experiment with formulas. In the first real song “Satananda” I was surprised to hear cleaner vocals. They sounded more like the chanting of some coven but it meshed nicely with the band’s sound. In the song “Abyss” cleaner vocals make a very slight appearance but are coupled with a solid lead. Yeah, solos. It’s a great way to add variance to the normal Black Metal sound.

The music here is unwaveringly fast and uncompromisingly heavy. The drumming is intense and ceaselessly blasts away. The guitar work is fast and features some exemplary Black Metal stylings however once again; there was some experimentation as several songs featured more melody being introduced throughout. “The Sacrament of Blood and Ash” debuted some of this by bringing in a lead as well as a melodic guitar work section along with the aforementioned cleaner vocals. As a genre specifically known for its elitism but that has also borne a slew of innovators and trendsetters, I thoroughly dug the attempt at doing something different.

Make no mistake; this is primal, grim, barbaric Black Metal. The vocals and instruments assault the listener with a berserker charge of aural chaos. It’s the kind of music you can scare the neighbors to. BAPTISM have a thorough understanding of Black Metal’s fundamentals (they are veterans of the genre) but they have taken a step outside of convention that leads to some really great new territory. While it’s not a huge change in the sound that warrants calling it some fancy new genre buzzword, like say a BORKNAGER or an OPETH, the commitment to adding what might be considered softer elements to such harsh music only enriches the layers of the overall experience. The gamble pays off without being compromising.

It’s rumored that most of BAPTISM’s instruments are played by just the front man, however a check on their page found a full listing of band members. In either case the musicianship was phenomenal on this album. The production values gave everything a dense, oppressive sound. This is an album that punishes you with its brutality then unexpectedly brings in a slick lead hidden among the picking and riffing. It keeps things interesting and is enjoyably complex. I would think that fans of Black Metal in general would want to pick this one up. Fans of all the forefathers of the genre, aka stuff like EMPEROR, SARGEIST, SVEDHOUS, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, LEVIATHAN, GOATWHORE, and so forth will probably dig this the most. It’s familiar enough as a Black Metal release while having enough originality to stay interesting.


4 Star Rating

1. Natus Ex Ignis
2. Satananda
3. The Sacrament of Blood & Ash
4. Devil's Fire
5. Abyss
6. Cold Eternity
7. Malignant Shadows
8. Buried With Him 
Lord S. - Vocals (guitar, songwriting)
SG.7 - Guitar
TG - Guitar
Syphon - Bass
LRH – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist


You do not have permission to rate
Edited 02 February 2023

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green