Reviews Baptists Bloodmines

Baptists

Bloodmines

Now that was intense! Having listened to the new Baptists full-length multiple times I still cannot get enough of it. The crust of Baptists is rapid and exciting, filled with violence and oppressed anger. The band from Canada is releasing their second album, Bloodmines, just one year after their debut album, Bushcraft, was out. And since everything seemed to be clicking in the first album, Baptists decided to follow some similar directions, meaning that the album is still coming out from Southern Lord and that they are once again working with Kurt Ballou. So you already know what to expect in terms of sonic quality from the album.

The intro to the album works quite nicely and in just a few seconds the walls around you seem to be getting darker and coming closer together before the impact comes. The groove of Baptists in “Wanting” is quite old-school bringing to mind the days of punk rock fury as “Sting Up” follows up on similar lines, with the vocals spitting pure malice. What is quite peculiar with Baptists though is their lead works which is not what you would expect from the typical crust band. “Harm Induction” contains such moments with the band following some very interesting concepts and coming up with some sick riffs in the process. The aggression really comes in full blown in “Closed Ports” with the band making a really fluid change for the second part of the track, leading to a more mid-tempo groove oriented moment. A similar technique is applied in the ending of “Harm Induction,” and the stunning thing is how swift the change is and how natural it still feels. The band does not lose any of their energy or edge and when the tempo slows down they actually come in with even more of an impact.

Still that is not all that Baptists have to offer, and there are instances in this album where things just get out of hand. “Vistas” is the first occurrence of such moments with the mid-tempo groove coming in strong and as brutal as the next song in Bloodmines. But in this case Baptists’ guitar parts are almost flirting with a sludge tonality, being slow and heavy as fuck, while the leads are causing dissonance with every passing note. What is even stranger is a slight noise rock influence that becomes more and more apparent as the song progresses. Similarly the title track has a quite different vibe to it, with the guitars and bass sharing the spotlight in this instance. The guitar parts are tremendous, and the panning of some parts from one speaker to the other brings a mind-bending characteristic out of the music. Especially when “Bloodmines” reaches its final minute it just seems full. The track sounds huge and absolutely imposing.

The old-school vibe still carries on strong with moments such as “Festered” and “Dissember” bringing along a thundering performance from the drums. The drumming in this album as a whole is just ridiculous changing to whatever is necessary for the music. In the opening song it takes on a more straightforward hardcore form giving that punk rock vibe to the music, while in other cases such as “For Profit” it is allowed more room and it makes use of every inch. The closing track is absolutely destructive in terms of the performance of the drums, laying waste to everything in their path. Likewise “Calling” and “Vistas” contain some of the most insane drumming patterns that you will find in Bloodmines. Especially alongside the more adventurous guitar playing of “Calling” with the sonic experimentation at large, the drumming really shines.

The guitar follows down more typical paths when that is necessary, as is the case with “For Profit,” but that does not mean they are less impressive. Another example being “Festered” with the initial lead parts of the song giving more energy to the track and tying in perfectly with the next song, “Dissember,” which includes an sick sounding solitary guitar part halfway through, before the vocals come in and destroy everything.

At first Baptists might appear like your typical crust band and you might think that Bloodmines is just another record you will listen to a few times and then just forget about. But there is much more in this album in terms of performance and songwriting than the band initially lets out. Do not overlook Bloodmines.

8.1 / 10Spyros Stasis
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8.1 / 10

8.1 / 10

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Southern Lord will release Bloodmines, the second full-length from Vancouver band Baptists. The LP was recorded by Kurt Ballou and will be released in September. Baptists released Bushcraft in 2013.

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