Location: Tokyo, Japan – Genre: Industrial, Metal, Electro
Baal has an infectious, indeed virulent industrial sound. This review covers the first EP (CD-R alas) from the band, Territory of B.A.A.L. that has been built up by reworking earlier singles and new material. Their blend of industrial programming and guitar from Mikito, percussion from Chihiro and voice from U-Tarou has resulted in a kind of cybernetic industrial rock that plays hard, fast and is very, very addictive to see on stage. This CD manages to capture the live sound very closely, giving you a glimpse into the heady world of Japanese underground rock.
The CD contains six songs, all running at a frenetic pace. The first song, Bloody Logic Communication (re-mastered), speedballs along with the heavily warped digital sounds and powerful percussion giving a sense of urgency. U-tarou’s powerful voice plays over the instruments.
Wreckage (re-mastered) plays like an industrial anthem for the underclass with U-tarou exploding through the chorus and carries it through the verses.
Vermin (new track) is hard and powerful from the start with vocals exploding seconds into the track and driving through the violent beat of the track.
Myrrha (new track) is more a smashed-up rhythm created by real industrial sounds with samples steam hammers and chains. It is a slower track by this album’s standards.
On the Surface (2006 neo brutal version) starts slow, but builds up to very heavy (and yes it is brutal) sound, with a fast tempo and stacks of power.
The final track, Collapse of Rusty Kingdom (New) would be a moonlit ballad by Baal’s standards, with a slower tempo with steam hammers and the like forming the sound. It is a slow(er) instrumental track which makes a perfect finish to this adrenalin-pumping EP.
The only downside to this is the price – 2,000 yen – 12 Euros – $16 – which seems a bit expensive for an EP. Of course, for a fan, or appreciator of good hard industrial sounds, the price would not be an issue.
Overall, while I have enjoyed Baal’s previous work, I see this as a much more mature piece of work. The re-mastered tracks and the new additions have helped deliver a balanced EP from a band that has risen quickly in the ranks of the Japanese Goth scene.
Territory of “B.A.A.L.” :: Track List
1. Blood_Logic_Communication (re-mastered) – 4:40
2. Wreckage (re-mastered) – 5:40
3. Vermin (new) – 4:06 – Sample
4. Myrrha (new) – 2:15
5. On the Surface (2006 neo brutal version) – 6:24 – Sample
6. Collapse of Rusty Kingdom (New) – 3:22
Note, there are more samples throughout their regular site and via their MySpace site.
You can buy the CD through PayPal. To get there, just click the link marked “Sound” on the left-hand side of the page and you should see the EP in the resulting page.