01. Betterment
02. Think Tank Breed
03. Bullets
04. In Droves
05. Still Melt
06. Mortar Head
07. Crutching Trails
08. Bushcraft
09. Soiled Roots
10. Russian Spirits
11. Abandon

RATING: 8.5/10

Vancouver 'core metallers (as opposed to the more watered-down metalcore) BAPTISTS have bounced forth from a primer 7 inch from last year with their debut album, "Bushcraft". If some noisome chaos is what you're after to turn loose your inner beast in an industrious manner, you just might want to step to this one.
CONVERGE, CURSED, RINGWORM and TODAY IS THE DAY are some of the immediate comparable acts that come to mind as "Bushcraft" slashes and garrotes with more ferocity than a male panther with its balls twisted into a knot. Squelching feedback greets and rakes gory salutations into BAPTISTS' raging wreck job, delivering a racket-filled introduction to the underground. It's not the most original style you've ever heard, but it is administered with knuckle-down honesty and full-on concentration.

"Bushcraft"'s swift tunes are thrust with spit-flung unruliness on "Betterment", "Bullets", "Mortar Head", "Think Tank Breed" and "Abandon". Employing crash-filled hardcore drives and belting metal ralphs, BAPTISTS flogs their audience with razor-tipped whips whistling amidst their tone-drowned cacophony. Shrewdly, they offer a couple of intercut dirge pieces to temporarily relieve listeners from their abusive prime directive.

The grueling punk drive of "In Droves" yields to the shirking "Still Melt" as BAPTISTS slows things down (save for drummer Nick Yachyshyn's mad dog rolls) to mingle in some ambivalent black metal guitar lines that send the punk-minded cut into an altogether different direction. Later, "Soiled Roots" halts the careening speed of its preceding tracks to unravel a stripped elegy pattern in which Andrew Drury all but pukes his F-bombs into the microphone, while guitarist Danny Marshall ushers the track into a lucid haze before blasting the cut with malevolent distortion the longer it slithers on.

The catastrophic railing of Marshall's guitars screech like siren blats on "Crutching Trails", giving way to a BAD BRAINS bomb attack that's all over with before you can start thinking of AGNOSTIC FRONT and MADBALL on the venomous title track. Likewise, the latter's whumping 'core bravado spills into the strident drive of "Russian Spirits".

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In and out within a half hour as a proper hardcore album should be, "Bushcraft" minces very little and keeps focused upon its rash course, throttling anyone coming within proximity of its raucous grooves. BAPTISTS knows when to hold their omnipresent velocity in check to deliver only the barest hints of respite, given the slower cuts are equally forceful. Raw, dirty and uncordial, "Bushcraft" is nastier and more alarming than a shotgun pump. Moreover, it administers a pitiless kick once BAPTISTS pulls their collective trigger.


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