(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Germany’s Bait, released by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions on May 22nd, with cover art by Giovanni Raabe.)
Inspiration is a funny ol’ thing. Sometimes you have it… and sometimes you don’t.
Case in point, I’m currently sitting on a half-finished triptych of reviews for some very cool Black Metal bands – a mix of doomy and groovy, abrasively atmospheric, and straight-up weird albums that I’ve been spinning religiously for the past few weeks – but, for some reason, my wordstream has run a little dry.
So, to try and get things flowing again, I decided to switch tracks (mixing my metaphors here a little, but, hey, it’s not like anyone’s paying attention) and find something else to wax lyrical about.
As it turns out, none of us have written anything (barring a bit of preamble to accompany a video premiere back in April) about the new album from Germanic Blackened Hardcore crew Bait, so now seemed like the perfect time to correct this egregious oversight.
The band’s debut full-length, Revelation of the Pure, is basically just one wide-eyed adrenaline rush after another, with pretty much every track packing enough high-voltage venom to power an entire city block.
Right from the beginning, kicking off with the hyper-aggressive, angst-ridden (and blast-driven) strains of “Nothing Is Sacred”, the trio pull absolutely no punches and take exactly zero prisoners, delivering a veritable deluge of pummelling beats and hammering riffs whose sheer intensity is (almost) unrivalled.
At their most blistering, such as during the searing “Odium”, the band bear more than a passing resemblance to their countrymen in Der Weg Einer Freiheit (with whom they share a bassist, and whose vocalist actually recorded and mixed the record), albeit with a much punkier, crustier vibe.
By the same token, when they lean hardest on their Hardcore roots, as they do during penultimate powerhouse “Eternal Sleep”, the resultant racket isn’t a million miles away from the moody metallic bite of a band like Converge.
For the most part though the band’s music, for all its anarchic aggression and feverish energy, achieves a careful equilibrium these two extremes, riding a razor’s edge between stripped-down metallic Hardcore and streamlined Black Metal on songs like “Leviathan III” and “Lightbringer” (to name but two).
For all the the group’s unwavering focus and sheer ferocity, however, they’re not afraid to shake up the dynamic now and then, occasionally dipping their toes into doomier, sludgier waters (“Into Misery”, “Ruin”) akin to Neurosis at their bleakest, or incorporating an extra dash of melody (“Revelation of the Pure”) reminiscent of the dearly-departed King Apathy, while still maintaining all the momentum and cohesion which they’ve already established.
Now, whether it’s an issue of length or sequencing, the one criticism which might (and I emphasise the word “might”) be levelled at the album is that jagged closer “In Aversion” doesn’t quite hit the spot as well as it should, coming as it does after “Eternal Sleep”, which is by far a more natural-sounding closer.
Still, that’s a relatively minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, when all is said and done.
So the next time you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, or require a shot of pure auditory adrenaline to get your blood pumping and your brain cells jumping, give Revelations of the Pure a spin. Just make sure anything that’s easily breakable (glassware, small animals, other people) is well out of the way, as once this album gets going you’re not going to want to stop for anything, or anyone.