Baalzagoth - Morbid Persecutions

Baalzagoth’s debut full length “Morbid Persecutions” is 40 minutes of modern churning death metal. These five Polish monikers take cues from the likes of groups such as Behemoth and Belphegor to create mid paced, crushing blackened death metal. The album is like a slow march till death with ferocious vocals, chugging riffs, thunderous drumming, and overall dark melodies that stomp along with no remorse. 

Tracks like ‘Unholy War’ sound like they have the fury of Behemoth in them whereas other tracks ‘Aborted’ are a little slower, grittier, and more like Incantation meets Immolation. The guitars chug along with a bit too much repetition but never lose their momentum, and the backing samples of the echoing cries of pain add to the whole unholy doom vibe of the music. ‘Suffering’ speeds things up a bit with the highlight being the drums and the anthemic drive of the riffs. Then things slide back to more of the same with the mid paced ‘Revenge’ that feels it takes a lot of cues from ‘Aborted.’ A lot of recycled riffs here and more samples but still sounds solid, especially with that wicked solo.

‘Reapers Of The Mind’ continues with the dark moody riffs and slow churn of death, but it is about here the album tends to stale a bit as Baalzagoth start to feel a bit like a one trick pony. Thankfully, that notion is dashed with ‘Pagan’s Hell’ which includes some acoustic moments and some symphonic choirs. It is a little different despite the core sound that pretty much sounds like everything else they’ve put out, but there is more bombast, more dramatics to give it a bit more life and listeners more than ‘the average blackened death metal track.’ 

Unfortunately this is what fans get for the last two pieces of the album. ‘Eternal Oblivion’ is just a mid paced chugger and ‘In Nomine…’ is a slow crawl riff fest; at least on this track the band opts for a few vocals shifts with more spoken word passages versus the usual growls. But that is about all it has going for it. 

Overall, the album feels quick and just half hearted. There are a few stand out track here and there and overall the hellish atmosphere, despite being slow, will appeal to fans of more slow churn apocalyptic metal groups like Rotting Christ or Behemoth who have a good mix of fast and slow songs. 

But, at the same time, Baalzagoth sound more like they come off as just another run of the mill blackened death metal group that don’t quite have that ‘stand out sound’ that makes them heard above the rest. They have the right pieces here and there to get there, they just need to flesh out the surprising elements such as the acoustic moments, more varied use of vocals, and mix it together with their dark sense of wonder and catchy hooks and riffs for a monster of a future album.

3 / 5 STARS

1. Desolation
2. Unholy War
3. Aborted
4. Suffering
5. Revenge
6. Reapers Of Mind
7. Pagan’s Hell
8. Eternal Oblivion
9. In Nomine…