Baptism – V: The Devil's Fire album review

Finnish black metallers Baptism prove Satan still has some epic tunes with their new album

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Formed in the late 90s by central protagonist Lord Sargofagian, Baptism have earned a solid reputation over the last decade or so.

Like many other leading lights within their country’s black metal scene, Baptism combine overt Satanism and occult-themed lyrics, intense and monochromatic aural violence and a very Finnish sense of eccentricity and single-mindedness.

The latter, in much the same way as the likes of Horna, has allowed the band to embrace accessible songwriting without any fear of compromise or accusations of selling out, and this fifth album is certainly easy to listen to. V is both epic and melodic, with a good deal of atmosphere and lovingly textured, gently unravelling songs that make effective use of clean-sung parts, simple synth lines and stirring leads to up the rousing nature of the whole experience. Even the faster songs contain plenty of groove to drive them forward, making for a diverse and exciting
listen that combines 90s and contemporary black metal atmospheres with consummate ease.