Baptism - _Wisdom and Hate_
(Northern Heritage, 2004)
by: Matthias Noll (8 out of 10)
Quite some time has passed since Baptism's convincing debut, _The Beherial Midnight_. The first thing that becomes obvious when _Wisdom and Hate_ starts spinning is how much the band has already succeeded in establishing their own style and identity with just a handful of releases. Right from the start, the 30+ minutes of this MCD with four proper tracks and a superfluous outro clearly show that this is not some faceless Darkthrone clone, but definitely Baptism.

What determines "the Baptism sound" is a distinctive use of melody and flow which is clearly Finnish black metal but seems to be rooted more in traditional metal than in post second wave strumming and droning, although groovier, even more metallic riffs that were occasionally present on _TBM_ do not even make a return. The general direction of these Finns' music encompasses a prevalent atmosphere of melancholy but also a surprising amount of harmonic, even uplifting or triumphant moods.

Production-wise, things are even more grim than on _TBM_. _Wisdom and Hate_ sounds more distant and less dry, and its trebly rawness might pierce an eardrum or two at high volume. This is an excellent follow-up to their debut and recommended to everybody into the lo-fi underground; it firmly holds a place in the black metal top ten for 2005.


(article published 31/12/2004)

4/16/2003 M Noll 7.5 Baptism - The Beherial Midnight
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