Released: 2014, SixSSixSix Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
With its rich history of dark prestige, its fair to say that the UK black metal underground is one of the best to be found across the globe, save for the sects of Scandinavian supremacy. What is less fair to say, is the sad truth that BAALBERITH are one of the most underrated and un-appreciated acts of the scene. Having struggled on since 2006, the band has released a wide discography that includes a load of splits and a trio of full-length studio efforts- making Apparition Of Skulls the fourth.
Opening with the malevolent blur that is “Quest For Satan”, followers of the group may immediately notice one thing whilst looking at the track listing, and no, it’s not the great use of infernal names and barbaric titles. What else may be noticed is the large amount of tracks that have already been featured on previous releases. Having said that- these tracks are excellent. “Abortion of Religious Futility” as well as the title track are taken from 2013’s critically acclaimed split album with British peers Forneus and Hex Morbidity, and shine like lonely stars above a sea of black sorcery.
Carrying a dire sense of confusion and wicked anxiety, all seven tracks filter through dark moods, resulting in a blur of dark art. The out-of-time guitar riffing and unconventional drumming may be off-putting to many listeners, but for those with a taste for the odd and the strange will find much to be delighted about. “Killing on Impulse” mirrors a dark mood and negative energy, which is also show through eerie sampling and Razakel Kreig’s heavily altered, unique vocal style. One downside however can be found in the “cut and paste” feel this record has- it does not flow like a fully finished or well-crafted LP should.
Weird and mechanical, Baalberith is certainly not one for all, but this does not mean that they may not be for you. Personally I believe they represent an important aspect of the burgeoning black metal scene- evolution. Pushing boundaries and expectations is one of this record’s amitions, and one that is achieved. Recommended for fans of Voices, Anaal Nathrak and Gorgoroth, but certainly not recommended for the faint hearted.
Review by Jarod Lawley