Review: Baptists – Beacon of Hope 7.5

  • Baptists
  • Beacon Of Hope
  • Metallic hardcore
  • Canada
  • 2018
  • 7.5/10

Bandcamp

Alright, time for a hardcore record. Beacon of Faith is very metallic to be fair, bordering on thrash metal. This is their first release in four years so for me this one kind of came out of nowhere and it’s a nice surprise. I hadn’t heard of them before but in the years since their last album I have grown an appreciation for metallic hardcore with bands like Converge and Code Orange. Baptists are similar to those bands but keep it much closer to hardcore punk thanks to the fact that what metal influence they do have is likely an older generation of thrash metal or even Motorhead more than metalcore. It works well, it maintains the heart of hardcore while making it more interesting than the usual stuff. There are a couple of tracks that are closer to being straight up metal, making this Beacon of Faith a good entry point into hardcore for metalheads.

Most people when they think of Canada probably think of how awesome it is and how happy everyone is. It’s a worldwide meme that has slowly been turned into fact in the minds of many. Baptists have been living there a long time and are deep in it, working jobs there and having a normal life. The vocalist is a social worker, a job that no doubt exposes him to the darker side of Canada first hand and a handful of heartbreak along the way. Beneath every paradise is inevitably a section of the population suffering one way or another, as they have observed, and that presence of suffering is what fuels this record. While the album goes hard there is the presence of melodies within the chaos that exemplify not just the intensity of the feelings behind the album but also the complexity. It’s often as mournful as it is angry.

 

Rhythm is done well, the vocals and the instruments line up in a coherent way. A lot of times in hardcore the vocals are just randomly yelled over the tracks and sometimes that’s fine too but when it all works together it really shows maturity. I think the drumming is what keeps it all in line, the drummer Nick Yacyshyn is also in an established post-metal band Sumac. His versatility shows in these tracks where it’s like the drum kit is orchestrating the whole thing. The vocals are solid throughout, but they do lack variety. His voice lends itself well to a metal style as its deeper than you’d typically hear in just straight up hardcore, its far less melodic. I can hear bits and pieces of Black Flag but then again that could be said about most heavy music.

The record is a decent length, it’s not too short and it doesn’t overstay its welcome with filler tracks. It maintains momentum throughout and ends with a couple of slower tracks that sound quite doom like. Overall, it’s decent and it feels like a full album. There are a couple of areas that could be improved like adding a bit more vocal variety and it doesn’t have a song that’s super memorable. I’ve listened to it multiple times and I never thought to look at the track name as I went through, it’s best digested from beginning to end because of its consistency in tone and theme.

 

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