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Kommando Baphomet – Under The Deathsign

Kommando Baphomet
Under The Deathsign
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 October 2020, 7:04 AM

KOMMANDO BAPHOMET is a Portuguese Black/Death Metal band and “Under The Deathsign,” is their second full length album.  This is one of the harder reviews I’ve had to do lately because I wanted to like this album more than I actually did.  Goz Ov War is also a good label with many quality releases but this one just didn’t stick out to me as much.

Considering the style, I assume it was done this way on purpose but the production here is a bit too rough for my tastes.  I’m all about some raw grit for the more underground bands but doesn’t mean I want it to sound bad.  Musically speaking, this seems like a pretty tight album but the production and mix makes it very hard to make out exactly what I’m listening to.  The bulk of the album’s lead guitar parts stick out rather well, such as the first half of “Encarnacao Divina,”  but the riffs themselves sound more like static than anything.

The vocals are very capable—pure evil and disdain.  Again, perfect for this style but for some reason an echo has been put on just about every vocal line—similar to old school black metal band VENOM.  An occasional echo can do much to enhance a vocal part’s atmosphere.  But every single time?  It is distracting, at best. With all that said, “Under The Deathsign” isn’t a bad album. It does hit all the right notes for more traditional blackened aspects: fast, acidic laced riffs, seemingly unstoppable drums, and tear-your-throat-out  vocals. In that respect, there is a lot to like here, most especially if the rawness and echos don’t bother you—mileage will vary and other people might just give give this album a higher rating.

Necrology,” is the opening track and it sets a tone that leaves no doubt to the band’s commitment to their sound and the energy levels on display.  The drums are fast, furious, and the guitars are a raging speed horn of destructiveness. But the production makes the speedier parts blend it a little too much and it all becomes one big, ball of sound.  However, when the band slows down the riffs and tempo, I found myself enjoying it much more.

Both parts of “Chapel of Bones,” are the highlights of the album as they perfectly balance fast attacks with slower moments of dark clarity. The riffs are more muddy on these songs, making them work a lot more with the weak production than some of the other tracks. Ultimately, the production and the odd choice to echo the vocals bogs down an album loaded with potential.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Necrology
2. Restos Mortais
3. Chapel of Bones (Part I)
4. Chapel of Bones (Part II)
5. Forges in Nightmares
6. Bleeding Evil
7. Encarnacao Divina
8. Deathsign of the Kommando Baphomet
Lineup:
N. - Guitars, Vocals
Vulturius – Drums, Vocals
Record Label: Godz ov War Production
     


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