Thrash Hits

November 3rd, 2010

Album: Baptized In Blood – Baptized In Blood

Baptized In Blood promo photo Thrash Hits

Baptized In Blood
Baptized In Blood
Roadrunner Records
26 October 2010

by Amit Sharma

There are bad album covers, and then there are really bad album covers. Unfortunately for Baptized In Blood, the cover art for their self-titled debut album falls into the second category. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s hard to take this Canadian quintet seriously when they have entered a saturated market with something so….cringeworthy.

Baptized In Blood self-titled album cover artwork packshot 400px Thrash Hits

As it turns out, this aesthetic masterpiece was actually designed by Mike D from Roadrunner label-mates Killswitch Engage – let’s hope he doesn’t give up the day job. Certainly Baptized In Blood have friends in high places (and being co-managed by Dave Mustaine has inevitably led to some significant exposure) but is there any substance behind the hype?

Whilst the band show some potential to develop, there is little here that the world of metalcore hasn’t already heard a million times. Opener ‘Up Shirts Down Skirts’ is an early indication of how generic and tired the rest of the album sounds, with it’s up-tempo verses oozing out the usual punk attitude and half-time choruses sounding predictably anthemic. It would probably be quite impressive if you had been blissfully unaware of bands like Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying, but this particular formula for metal really has been flogged to death over the past decade. Sonically everything is there – the crisp production, the meaty layers of guitar over a tight rhythm section – but it is the songwriting itself that is lacklustre.

Second track ‘Dirty’s Back’ starts with the capacity to stand out, with some imaginative lead guitar runs over thrashier sounding riffs, but once the vocals come in it starts sounding all too familiar again. Frontman Johl Fendley has a tendency to bark out particularly shallow lyrics like “Fuck shit you can suck my dick, See it just comes naturally” – offering words of wisdom one would normally attribute to Fred Durst.

Watch a min-video to ‘Down And Out’ by Baptized In Blood:

The stripped down aggression of ‘Down And Out’ covers the more hardcore-influenced Hatebreed end of metalcore, and allows Baptized In Blood to showcase what they are best at – powerful beatdowns with technical guitar work over the top. This is where the band show moments of originality, weaving somewhere between the outskirts of thrash and punk.

On the whole this debut effort ticks many boxes: it has the hooks and some killer riffs, but you can’t help but wonder how much more impact this record would have had in 2001. At this stage however, it is very much a case of too little too late.

2/6

Sounds like: A million other bands for the most part
Top Tracks: Only Cure, Go It Alone, Down And Out

Baptized In Blood – Baptized In Blood tracklisting:
Up Shirts Down Skirts
Dirty’s Back
Game On
Only Cure
Down and Out
Mental
Last Line Lady
My Salute
Go It Alone
Will Of A Demon
Sinking Ships
Event Horizon

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