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Ba’al - In Gallows By Mass album review

Post-black metal newcomers make a rousing first step

Cover art for Ba’al - In Gallows By Mass album

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.

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.