Ba’al - In Gallows By Mass album review

Post-black metal newcomers make a rousing first step

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Hot off a performance on Bloodstock’s New Blood stage, Sheffield’s despondent quintet Ba’al are bridging the gap between black metal and post-rock with their debut release. Packed to the brim with unhallowed screams of agony, raw production and repeating, disturbing riffs, Ba’al live up to the embittered precedent established by the forefathers Mayhem and Gorgoroth. However, with this eP providing three tracks over the space of 30 minutes, the lengthy song structuring of the 21st century’s dark, avant-garde titans such as Deafheaven is omnipresent throughout. Clean, choir-like vocals regularly sneak their way into the fray, primarily in the immense conclusion to Black River and the quieter opening to One Under The Sun, and an atmospheric aura more than once descends to calm the storm of the EP’s own brutality.