"Baptized in Blood" (Obscure Music; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There's good news and bad news about Throne of Serpents and their "Baptized in Blood." Thankfully, the good news outweighs the bad.

Let's just get the bad news out of the way: "Baptized in Blood" is very roughly produced. The mix is pretty flat, the vocals are badly recorded and the sound quality is like that of a demo. 

That's pretty much the bad news.

The good news is that the CD is a dynamic collection of old school thrash metal. It's fast-paced, it's well-performed and it's captivating to the end. Even the occasional instrumental track (i.e., the haunting "Hiroshima Sleeps"), will hold your attention.

And the solos ... oh, the solos. Fans of shredding solos need look no further than "Baptized in Blood" in which virtually every track features a solo that could cut the Mohawk right off of Mr. T. They don't always seem like a perfect fit, but they're always there, ready to draw blood.

Most amazing about this collection is that the vast majority of the music recorded here was created by one man: Michael Anthony Putignano. Michael wrote, recorded, engineered, produced and mixed the album as well as performed drums, vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, piano, melody and harmony leads. Of all of Michael's talents, his vocal skills are perhaps the least honed. The vocals on "Baptized in Blood" are serviceable, at best. 

A "Dr. Frankenshred" delivered the "shredding guitar solos." I don't know who he is, but his solos remind me of Mark St. John's work on Kiss's "Asylum" CD.

Here's hoping that Throne of Serpents gets a real production budget sometime soon and are able to record the even better album that "Baptized in Blood" indicates they are capable of making.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.