Reviewed: May 2012
Released: 2012, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Talk of the difficult second album is all well and good, but before that you have to get the debut off the ground. This is the situation facing Turkish metallers Baht, who having tested the waters with an EP and mini record since forming in 2007 are now taking the plunge with their full length one, In My Veins – mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Bloodbath, Opeth).
The old adage is to not run before you can walk, which suits In My Veins’ striding mid-pace. Of course we’re talking death metal here, but when did that ever get in the way of a metaphor? Anyway the same applies as Baht are not doing anything ground-bothering, let alone breaking, but are saved from mindlessly ploughing the same creative vein by the inclusion of more eastern melodies.
There’s also a progressive edge, as in ‘Introspection’, which combines gentle guitars and rasping whispers to create a shift in atmosphere before the drums close back in again. Whilst in ‘Neden?’ the same drums provide more of a steady backing rhythm for the guitars to steal some spotlight, including throwing in an early solo. Riffs-a-plenty are also to be had in ‘Creedish’, which provides some distance from the heads-down pummelling before the bruises begin to form.
Unfortunately vocally things become monotonous quite quickly – it’s not so much the grumbling style, but more the flat tone that seems to be favoured, with little or no discernible changes to reveal any feeling. Here and there a softer vocal serves to break up the landscape like a lone tree against a city skyline, as in ‘Lost and Found’, and ‘Sacred Enigma’, but largely the vocals make it hard to remember the songs as individual entities.
Perhaps it’s the result of having primarily shrugged off their native language in favour of the more commercially easy-to-peddle English, but Baht feel strangely sterile for a band this young. The raw ideas seem to be there, so there’s hope for that second album to in fact see them hit their mark.
Review by: Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
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