Jun 2014 16

Baal - ShuradoBaal
Category: Industrial
Album: Shurado
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: A low-fidelity, high-octane, blistering explosion of a full-length debut.


Heralded by many for several years as a group to keep an eye on, the Japanese cyber-metal trio Baal has made quite a name for itself via touring, releasing two appetizer EPs, and collaborating with other artists. Supporting Angelspit on both the Australian and Japanese tours and being unleashed on US audiences more recently opening for Skinny Puppy on select dates, Baal has managed to build considerable anticipation for the full-length debut album, Shurado.

As “Purge” opens the album, its muddled, low-fidelity electronics and nü-metal styled down-tuned guitar riffs may leave a first impression that Baal is simply the latest in a long line of overhyped artists, but when the crisp blistering energy of the vocals hits and the raw energy they convey washes over the listener, those initial impressions are “purged” from the mind. The album’s lo-fi style and sound mix persists throughout, feeling as if a layer of sludge has been cast over the music. While in many tracks this does succeed in accentuating the raw and rough sound that Baal clearly is striving for, tracks such as “Dead Sector” and “The Iron Age” end up too muddled and lack any real personality beyond being awash in low tones. Tracks such as “Evil Collector” and “Outrage” fare much better as they better mix synths with the heavy guitar riffs and don’t get bogged down in nü-metal sludge. There are also tracks like “東京 Schizoid” that act as a full on aural assault with their near limitless energy that best capitalize on Baal’s style and show what the band is capable when firing on all cylinders.

This flawed but exciting debut shows that Baal’s hype is warranted. With Shurado, the band has managed to capture a blistering energy few manage to match, and it leaves the listener fantasizing about what the act’s live performances must be like. While the instrumentation and sound mix may not always be ideal, the flesh-pealing energy of the vocals largely makes up for these issues and elevates the music to a higher level. With this strong of an initial showing, one can’t help but be excited to watch this young act grow and see what it next has in store.
Track list:

  1. Purge
  2. 畜生道 -Brush Aside Your Way-
  3. Dead Sector
  4. Outrage
  5. Evil Collector
  6. 東京 Schizoid
  7. Awake
  8. The Iron Age
  9. Inhuman Dimension
  10. 邪道 Genocide

Baal Website http://baaljapan.net
Baal MySpace https://myspace.com/baaljapan
Baal Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/BAAL-Japan/108566889217008
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter https://twitter.com/metropolisrec
Metropolis Records Bandcamp http://metropolisrecords.bandcamp.com
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Storming the Base CD
Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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