Album Review: EYE OF THE DESTROYER Baptized In Pain
Sometimes a band has a lineup shift and suddenly pulls it together in a big bad way. Such is the case with Eye Of The Destroyer. Their latest offering, Baptized In Pain, sees the band reach a whole new level. These New Jersey madmen have finally tightened their sound with their fusion of deathcore and slam. Consequently, their second full length marks a huge step forward. Eye Of The Destroyer doubled down on their strengths and crafted a masterwork. Baptized In Pain is sixteen tracks of pit inducing brutality.
In many ways, Baptized In Pain is pure mosh worship. It comes from the streets and it feels gritty. It's also self aware and, at times, almost comedically heavy, though that's the point—craft a deathcore record that plays into the genre’s most lovable tropes. The album's title track almost forces the listener to two-step.
Baptized In Pain is the sound of sweaty long haired guys—Cro Magnon—stomping their way across the pit. It sees the band tackle tenets of slam and make them their own. The brutarian stomp of “Twisted Perception,” for example, careens between crushing breakdowns and punishing mosh riffs. It speaks to how far the band has advanced in their songwriting abilities as well. What was only a glimmer on their debut, Methods Of Murder, comes together much more clearly here. All it took was turning former drummer Joe Randazza into a frontman and finding a new drummer in John Scott to replace his spot.
Sure there are moments that Baptized In Pain is a little silly, but Eye Of The Destroyer know it. They can take their inner fifteen-year-old boy and channel it on a track like “Body Snatcher.” It raises goosebumps with its closing cry of “Suffocate!” Deathcore was never meant to be a super serious genre. This record builds on the conventions of NYHC inspired riffs and blast beats and evolves it into a hard grooving riff machine. Far more than a tour de force of genre staples though Baptized In Pain sees the band pushing the limits. “Disposal Of Flesh,” for instance, sees the band experimenting with clean vocals. It's a marked departure for a group who once seemed stolid in their songwriting.
The first track, "Rebirth," is a fitting introduction to Baptized In Pain. This is, after all, a new beginning for Eye Of The Destroyer. Baptized In Pain is going to entice those who might not otherwise lend an ear to moshworthy madness and make longtime fans of the genre do a double take. Deathcore is a genre that is at its best when composed with a bloodthirsty smile. That's what has happened on Baptized In Pain. Devout listeners will find themselves getting in lost in all that goes on here. It's very much a slam lover's deathcore record, but it hints at much more to come. Devastating and feasting on flesh, Baptized In Pain is a fist-pumping listen.