Label: Metropolis Records
Genre: Cybergoth/Industrial metal
Release Date – 11th Feb 2014
Lay back, put on your body armour and strap yourself in, Baal’s latest release Shurado (Scene of Carnage) is here. The latest from Japan’s super-harsh industrial metal overlords will leave you battered, bruised, and grinning toothlessly! They have been known to describe themselves as Cybernetic heavy industrial rock, and that’s pretty much the nail on the head!
Purge kicks off immediately with a burst of sirens followed immediately by a wall of cacophonous noise, clashing symbols, machine gun kickdrums and chugging, hyper-industrial riffage which slowly coalesce into some form of structure, before U tarou’s insane vocals kick in.
And what incredible vocals they are!
Guttural, throaty, loud, maniacal, harsh and alarming yet somehow crystal clear and exhibiting perfect flow throughout, she bellows out the demons within - sometimes in a pure metal cry, sometimes as an imp-rapper from hell, sometimes as a Medusa -hissing in tongues and sometimes as a tribal warrior maiden of old - but always utterly compelling! Although, not understanding Japanese, I have no idea what is being shouted at me, it is completely hypnotic and I’m not sure it would hit as hard in any other language! Imagine a female, Japanese, Phil Anselmo (Pantera) turned up to twelve and with a dusting of Danny Filth at his most manic, and you’re almost there!
By the end of Dead Sector it is all making sense and chugging away in a grin-inducing explosion of phat beats, uniquely giant vocals and thoroughly enjoyable, slickly rhythmic guitars.
MIKITO’s guitar work is satisfyingly beefy throughout – harking back in places to the more respectable, edgier strains of late 90’s industrial metal - Rammstein, Fear Factory, Deftones etc. This is in turn backed up rapid, scattergun percussion, no less merciless than the other elements, adding yet another layer to this satanic chaos.
Outrage showcases the order in the chaos, reminiscent of past industrialists like Static-X and Mnemic, along with a ferocious attitude and hollered vocals full of sudden stops and crazy rolled ‘r’s.
The throaty, drawn-out hiss which kicks off Awake finally gives you brief respite - the onslaught of the previous tracks giving way to sneaking, creeping terror. I have no idea how a human throat can make such a chilling, unearthly noise – by the end you will be convinced that she is some form of hellspawn!
Evil Collector brings another weapon to bear on your battered ears and brain, as the programming and electronics are turned up, flowing into the fray naturally. You may not be sure how much more you can take but you also cannot imagine ever wanting it to stop!
Iron Age brings in a slightly more drum-n-bassey percussive loop, but fret ye not, the sound which has proven so addictive so far remains, and the terrifying, unholy incantations soon return to bring you to the end with Inhuman Dimension and Genocide.
The overall sound of this group is gigantic and terrifying – it feels as if they genuinely want to hurt you with this brutal, unrelenting noise! Baal are certainly not for the faint hearted, they pull no punches but if you can take it, you will keep coming back for more!
Each track is fun, following roughly the same formula yet remaining unique and distinct, even among all the chaotic noise. It has been a long time since I have encountered an album that left me physically shocked after listening to it, but these did so. Take it, you’ll love it! But be warned, it’ll hurt!
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