Friday, July 1, 2016

Baphomet's Blood - Satanic Metal Attack (2006)

You could do worse than to kick off your debut album with a Nightbreed sample, and that's precisely how the Italo speedsters Baphomet's Blood entered my life with their bombastic and no fucks given Satanic Metal Attack. It's no secret that a lot of bands out of Europe have a legacy of offering tribute to the metal of old, specifically that of the 80s in which most of the heavyweight genres and niches were born, and the speed and thrash metal of that era had already been sent up numerous times by the arrival of the new millennium, but I'd say that as the formative works, or 'originals' of these genres grow further and further away, the hearts tend to grow fonder and gravitate straight back towards them. These days the nostalgia farm is in full harvest, with a lot of rotten crops to go along with the delectable, but I'd say this band were kind of at the vanguard of this newer wave of atavists, and who can forget (or forgive) all those awesome pics of these guys decked out in there in sleeveless tees with flying Vs and all kinds of great poses.

Not me.

I'll state outright that Satanic Metal Attack is not the band's best work, but it was a critical part of arriving there. Crude, galloping licks the likes of which derive directly from two decades prior, you're going to hear a smattering of simplistic guitar patterns here that rum the gamut from Destruction to Kill 'Em All to very early Slayer, but specifically recount the Canadian primacy once mastered by bands like Exciter and Razor. This entire album was crafted with a motorcycle wheelie mentality in mind, a Mad Max-like spurt of testosterone, dust and vitriol slathered in sloppy harsh vocals. This is far more in the strain of a Venom than the more punkish fundamentals of Motörhead, with some dexterity and finesse to the rhythm guitars, although they are certainly predictable and basis in structure. There are other horror samples used to break up the momentum, even one from Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian, but almost every song among the eight here moves at a similar clip with the exception of the neck jerking mid-paced thrash riff moments that messily try to evoke a lot of old East coast hardcore or Toxic Waltz, or the slightly more uppity speeds the band spits out that enter Rigor Mortis s/t territory (as in the depths of "Kill the Monk").

The bass guitar cruises along but doesn't really register much, and the rhythm tone is a little plain and boxy, with the drums adding a lot of very cluttered crashing. A lot is really left up to the vocalist for added character, along with the gang shouts and sporadic, ridiculous leads, but I'd say the all pull it off to the point that when I listen through the album, I can imagine myself doing 90 down a desert highway in a beat up van spray painted with all kinds of bad graffiti of devils and boobs and sicks and just having a petulant time while I spray my tonsils with warm whiskey that had been sitting in the sunlight on the passenger side for too long. It's a bit of a party, but a peculiar party, and one that should not under any circumstance be replicated in any real world situation unless you have a short lease on your life or a lot of really cool (and brave) friends. Satanic Metal Attack is alright when you're in the mood, but even if you have a lukewarm or lesser response to this, don't panic, because Baphomet's Blood get up to the devil's business with much greater efficacy on future efforts.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10] (drilled by Satan)

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