In October 2021, we went on a little 6-date tour with our brothers in post metal arms and practice-room-room-mates, Gozer. We documented the whole thing and Chris put together a little tour diary of the whole thing, day by day, which you can find in the playlist on our YouTube channel below!
New year, same monthly playlist post… New drummer. As usual, we’ve all picked 5 tracks – including our new drummer, whose identity is yet to be revealed. Guesses on a postcard please.
Nick – Guitar
Under – Traitor’s Gate
You can file this one under ‘simple riffs that slap so hard that you really wish you’d written’. There is also plenty of the sort of off kilter affair you’d expect from Under. Looking forward to whatever weird-as-shit metal they release next.
Max Cooper – Perpetual Motion
I have Richard to thank for this one. Only started listening to Max on his recommendation but I’m glad I did. Minimalist techno that is nonetheless vividly illustrative and euphoric. To draw his music would be to draw a massively intricate landscape.
Michelle Branch – Everywhere
Classic early 2000s pop-rock anthem. Unfortunately Michelle is no longer a household name it seems but The Spirit Room nonetheless is still an absolutely stellar album. They don’t write pop songs like this anymore.
Frigoris – Aurora Stirbt
A potential early contender for album of the year. Beautiful German post-black metal with an anti-NSBM stance. What is there not to love?
Allie X – Science
I’m picking the stripped back ‘analog’ version she released last year purely for the ridiculous pitch her voice reaches towards the end. Regardless listen to the original too. The phattest sounding dark synth pop with astounding production.
Tom – Guitar
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Sleep
And we used to sleep on the beach here, sleep overnight.
They don’t do that anymore.
They don’t sleep anymore on the beach
Jesu – Christmas
Waves of electronics and guitars crash over eachother in ways that are instantly recognisable as Broaderick’s work. A twisted combination of industrial and shoegaze.
65daysofstatic – Safe Passage
The synth swells and blooms are glorious. Emotive and uplifting that always makes the hairs standup on my arms.
Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
Just absolute savagery commited to tape. A gloriously nihilistic way to open an album and a statement of intent.
Neurosis – Stones From the Sky
Bleak, hypnotic, no frills simplicity. Neurosis at their absolute crushing best.
Joe – Vocals
Les Discrets – Le Mouvement Perpetuel
Pleasant yet haunting post black metal from Alcest’s bezzie mates. Actually quite soothing.
Fen – The Gibbet Elms
One if the UK’s finest atmospheric black metal bands. Oozes malevolence.
Drakonis – Let Us Pray
Northern Irish black metallers who have a full length album on the way. Traditional and catchy.
Monstrosity – Remnants of Divination
Best known for being the training ground for musicians to join bigger death metal bands. But this track is a tech-death banger.
Slipknot – Eyeless
Classic track that was a highlight when I recently saw them live for the fourth time. YOU CAN’T SEE CALIFORNIA WITHOUT MARLON BRANDOS EYES!!!
Richard – Bass
Ashbringer – Solace
This album, Yūgen, made a bit of an underground splash when it came out a few years ago. Brilliant atmospheric black metal, with some powerful harmonies and masterful acoustic passages. It’s a bit like Wolves in the Throne Room meets Mike Oldfield.
Jesu – Silver
As is often the case, I’m very slowly filling gaps in my knowledge with artists I definitely should be more familiar with… After just one listen, the title track on this EP has shot up to amongst my very favourite Jesu tracks. Heartwrenching, reverberating, heavy and so distinctive.
Steve Hauschildt – The World is Too Much with Us
I recently came across this Berlin-School-influenced electronic artist via a BandCamp reccomendation email, and then found out he’s playing in Sheffield next month – double winner. His work is like a blend of simplistic synth-based soundscapes with Jon Hopkins-like hooks and sound, and this one is just great and textured ambience.
E-L-R – Above the Mountains There is Light
Though they didn’t make it into my albums of 2019 list, seeing them live in December with Hundred Year Old Man (twice, including playing with them once) has kept E-L-R in my mind. This track – featuring Colin from Amenra – is the pinnacle of the album for me, reaching some brilliant, chordy heights.
Thy Catafalque – Vashegyek
This is a band I’m really only just properly investing time into, having had them on my radar for a long time. There’s some truly nasty, deathly sludge riffs on display here, alongside influence from Hungarian folk and electronica, and you could also argue there’s some of the SOAD brand of melody in there too. Can’t wait to get stuck into more of their albums.
??? – Drums
Twilight Force – Hydra
Soooo, I like cheesy power metal and have a big ole soft spot for orchestral elements in metal. This is an absolute belter off Twilight Force’s latest album, which is sure to lighten up any day!
Fleshgod Apocalypse – Monnalisa
Following on the orchestral theme, Fleshgod Apocalypse’s Monnalisa comes in from the heavier end still with a fantastic combination of musicality, epicness, and looming ominous tones.
Arch Echo – MukDuk
This instrumental prog/mathsy band bring the grooooooovvvveeeeeee to extreme proportions. Great fun talented band with amazing energy.
Devin Townsend – Borderlands
It’s Devin… Need I say more? I see this as a brilliant example of all the stuff that makes Devin Devin. It’s got heavy, silliness, proggy stuff, a crying child… IT’S GOOD.
VOLA – Whaler
VOLA were my most recent love at first sight band, and this song off their latest album is a beautiful comination of heavy and with the beautiful loveliness which makes VOLA one of my favourite bands.
We’re back on our playlist business again, as a break from the incessant guitar chatter. Listen and read on to hear what four fifths of us have been listening to in the past month.
Nick – Guitar
The Cure – Plainsong
Saw some footage of their headline slot at Glastonbury and they opened with this track. To be honest that live version is probably even better than the studio version but it’s still great on record.
Alcest – Le Miroir
Really strong album (laughs exuberantly at the suggestion that they could release a bad album). Only had 2 listens through so far but this track is a highlight for me.
Sibiir – Guillotines
Mastodon riffs and hardcore tinged black metal all bundled up in a ball of thorns and emotion. Lovely.
MUNA – I Know A Place
Really great glossy synth pop track with big hooks. Not much else to say other than IT FUCKING SLAPS.
Kero Kero Bonito – Trampoline
Wish the key to happiness was as simple as the lyrical content of this song. Sadly it’s not, and even if it was, I don’t have a fucking trampoline anyway.
Tom – Guitar
Iggy Pop – Loves Missing
You can’t go wrong with Iggy, and the band he’s assembled for the free album are fantastic.
Russian Circles – Arluck
Love the simple yet pounding drum intro.
Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave
Can never go wrong with Johnny Cash.
Nine Inch Nails – We’re in This Together
Always liked the fuzzy filtered guitar sound in the middle of this.
A-Sun Amissa – Seagraves
Richard – Bass
Sumac – The Deal
For an avowed post metal worshipper, I realised recently that my Aaron Turner knowledge is woefully lacking outside of a couple of Isis albums, and checking this out was like a sledgehammer to the face. It’s like all Isis’ heaviest tones with a drummer on speed.
Ocean Wisdom – Don
Ocean Wisdom is just an insanely talented and reliably entertaining rapper and I’ve been really into his second album Wizville recently. Mad flows that’ll have you grinning.
Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Eiswanderer
One of a few brilliant black metal discoveries I’ve made recently. These guys have the sheen of modern post-black metal bands like Downfall of Gaia, but do not shy away from crushingly dense guitar layers.
Coil – The Last Amethyst Deceiver
After years, the Ape of Naples record has just recently properly clicked with me, for some reason, and the eerie avant-garde weirdness of this track really pulls you in (despite the vocals sometimes sounding like Bill Bailey…).
Fennesz – Rivers of Sand
If you like your ambient music to be constantly glitching, but also cut together with some humanizing real instruments, look no further than Fennesz. Somehow both sterile and deeply emotional, he’s a real master.
Joe – Vocals
Cult of Fire – Zavet Svetku
Absolutely sublime black metal in the vein of Mgla and Batushka, with some real earworm riffs and atmospheres.
Cairiss – Disgraced
Perhaps the best kep secret in UKBM. Stunning composition, eerily beautiful.
Forest Stream – Snowfall
The album Tears of Mortal Solitude is criminally underrated; awe inspiring synth driven blackened doom.
Oathbreaker – Being Able To Feel Nothing
Lyrically heartwrenching and one of the most emotive vocal performances in extreme metal.
Hecate Enthroned – Within The Ruins of Eden
Shouldn’t really be mentioning a band I’m in, but on our recent tour this track has been especially epic.
Welcome to the brand new blog of Ba’al, a 5-piece blackened post metal band from Sheffield.
This is where we’ll be sharing some of our personal thoughts, musical recommendations and influences, chatting about gear, writing and recording, as well as dumping any other random detritus that comes to our heads. We hope you enjoy it.
For more regular updates regarding upcoming shows and other news, you can find our social media links at the top or bottom of the page, depending on if you are on a computer or mobile. You can check out our music on BandCamp (where you can also purchase it, along with merch), as well as on Spotify and most other streaming services.
For now, keep an eye on us here for some deep dives into our five strange brains. Strap in.
All the best.
Richard, Nick, Tom, Joe and James.