Baron – Beneath the Blazing Abyss (Transcending Obscurity)

Monday, 13th May 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

How a band evolves is always of interest to this scribe. To understand the volcanic death metal of seemingly newcomers Baron, one needs to go back in time a bit. Granted, their first self-titled EP from 2016, we’ve yet to be able to find (if anyone knows of where I could find it, hit me up), we did locate Life Trap from 2018. At this juncture, Baron is a predominantly metallic hardcore act with some big riffage. An excellent recording that shouldn’t be overlooked. Vocalist Tommi Astala also plays guitar in the metal/hardcore fusion Cleansing – who just released a cool first album Throne of Misery a few weeks before this album came out – so the underlying influence is notable.

That said, what Baron has unleashed with their first long player Beneath the Blazing Abyss stands mainly in the death metal realm alongside interlaced stretches of doom. However, the pure unfiltered energy of which Baron regularly disperse is where their hardcore influence occasionally emerges, overall resulting in a smashing record that doesn’t trifle about.

There haven’t been many opening tracks that erupt as violently as “Primordial Possession” does, serving as a precursor of what’s to come. A gargantuan opening riff sets the tone, as the song swings between effusive fury and drawn out doom segments, though never dropping the chugging rhythms that make them tick. The wrecking ball continues with “Infernal Atonement” via buzzsaw guitars and menacing power, which can largely be attributed to drummer Juuso Hämäläinen and bassist Toni Nisukangas bringing the lumbering low end. Vocalist Astala’s transitions between bellowing growls and blood curdling screams are essential throughout Beneath the Blazing Abyss, adding a scorching menace that elevates the instrumental work.

The most varied piece is definitively “At the Dawn of Damnation,” itself being the most doom oriented track on offer. It’s acutely orchestrated, applying many chunks of visceral death crunchiness, and a layer of blackened aura. Multiple time changes keep the listener guessing, smashing away slowly with precision. Tracks like “Incinerated Evil” in the majority go full throttle, while “Bound to the Funeral Pyre” methodically plods forth, representing the band’s most doom adjacent and atmospheric composition.

Finland continues to be a hotbed for everything metal, with Baron being a hell of an export. Beneath the Blazing Abyss sounds colossal in every facet, due to of course the songwriting and previously noted riffage, but also production-wise. Full credit to Jussi Riikonen for his efforts to make Baron blast through our speakers. The cover artwork by the esteemed Misha Mono wraps the aesthetic together, in what is a visual and aural blazing inferno of a debut record. Baron possesses many tricks yet to be revealed it feels, and as enjoyably pulverizing as Beneath the Blazing Abyss is, there’s even more in store for the future. Jump on the bandwagon early; Baron isn’t slowing down this train for anyone.

Baron on Facebook

[fbcomments width="580"]