Baht: In My Veins

Progressive Turks with a touch of Viking spirit

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Sitting beside Greece and straddling both Europe and Asia, Turkey boasts a similar passionate metal scene to its neighbour, yet genuinely struggles to push its bands into the international underground, in part due to it not benefiting from the touring advantages of being a part of the EU.

Nonetheless, a number of strong acts have come forward in recent years, of which one can certainly count Istanbul-based trio Baht. Although the band formed six years ago, In My Veins is their debut full-length and has been mixed by none other than the legendary Swede Dan Swanö, an ambitious decision that seems to have impacted on the sound of an already progressive-minded outfit.

Despite such overtones – and a number of Oriental/Middle Eastern touches which add a welcome and subtle touch of the exotic – the material here frequently leans heavily toward chunky, no-nonsense death metal, full of big heavy metal-indebted riffs and melody bringing to mind an Eastern Amon Amarth. The band might consider going further with the prog next time, but this is a solid start.