Written by Nick Spooner
It's no extraordinary revelation to say that the music industry is in a right old pickle thanks to the pandemic. Who knows when we'll get to see live music again, but in the meantime there's still plenty we can do to support artists out there doing what they can to still make it work. And to that end, we're introducing 'Under The House Lights' as a new feature of the Room Thirteen reboot; existing to give artists a leg-up. There's no real protocol to this; if there's a band we've been listening to who we think is great, then every few weeks we'll sling it up here and encourage you to check it out.
The UK heavy music scene has had a bumper few years, and Sheffield's purveyors of blackened misery, Ba'al, are another fish, circling the waters of our ever-expanding heavy music pond, on which to keep a watchful eye. Ba'al - who take post-metal, black metal and doom and launch it into a cement mixer along with a bucketload of atmosphere - have been plugging away steadily for almost five years. In that time, they've released two EPs (and now an album), have honed their live performances across close to 100 shows - building something of a name for themselves in the process.
Last month the band released their first full-length record, Ellipsism, recorded and produced in Manchester at No Studio by Pijn's Joe Clayton and, quite rightly, it's bringing the guys some extra attention. Whilst the scratchiness of the band's last EP, Reverence, was wholly befitting of Ba'al's black metal component, Ellipsism's' panoramic production allows plenty of room for the textures inherent in the band's sound to clamber out, simultaneously providing more force to the moments of booming post-metal and doom. The result is a huge-sounding record; oppressive, atmospheric, bleak and powerful, and yet, such is the band's adept grasp of dynamics, still punctuated with opportunities to catch one's breath. With gigs on ice for now, the band have been investigating other avenues into which to channel their creative energies and, given their admirable work ethic, it might not be too long before we hear something else from them. But for now, we can revel in the gloom of Ellipsism; the soundtrack to a winter spent locked in our houses with a pandemic wreaking havoc outside.
Ba'al is: Nick Gosling (Guitar), Richard Spencer (Bass, Viola), Joe Stamps (Vocals), Luke
Rutter (Drums) and Tom Arnold (Guitar).
Written by Nick Spooner