|Baht - 'In My Veins' (Self Released)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 04:00|
Heavy metal has always been an underground community - that is why it has thrived and grown to an extent that, in ways, it is very much overground and a global force which cannot be ignored, no matter how much the mainstream media, and wider society in general, may choose to think (or wish) it otherwise. However, there are parts of the Überverse where it still has to skulk in dark alleyways, not showing its face in daylight for fear of the authoritarian wrath that may be brought down upon it: a prime example being Muslim countries, where, despite modernisation and globalisation which has led to the spread of the metal gospel to places as diverse as India, Thailand and even Iraq. Being someone who steps outside the norm is frankly downright dangerous in some place though.
Fortunately, there are always brave souls who take it upon themselves to stick their scrawny necks above the parapet and risk having themselves decapitated, souls such as Turkey's Baht, who have been leading the metal revolution in that particular corner of the world for half a decade...
After one EP (2008's 'Bilinçten Derine') and a mini-album ('Resurgence Hour' the following year), the quartet have finally got around to releasing their first full-lengther, and a damn impressive opus it is too...
Undoubtedly helped by the input of death metal legend Dan Swanö, who mixed and mastered the album, this is a collection of eight intelligent, well-written, well-performed progressive death metal songs, mixing traditional black and death sensibilities with some pretty severe doom and loads of traditional eastern Mediterranean/Near East folk melodies.
It's the latter that makes this album truly stand out though. The whirling dervish like rhythms which underpin tracks such as highly impressive opener 'The Trauma' and the atmospheric-yet-brutal 'Dua' take what could have been a fairly average death metal album to a whole new level, especially in the way in which the oriental influences are interwoven into the more traditional western metal framework.
Each of the performances is impressive, the songs are all superbly constructed and the production is exemplary. An album that definitely deserves repeated plays, and will get them in this particular part of the Überverse...