"Baptism of Fire" (Goodfellow Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I've always loved the sound of hardcore. The crushing guitars, the frenetic pace, the raw emotion that explodes from the music. But the vocal styles too often turned me off. Growling vocals have their place but the raspy, chaotic banshee scream of hardcore made too many otherwise great albums unlistenable.

"Baptism of Fire" from Canada's To the Lions is a wall-flattening disc that combines the best of old school hardcore with a fresh and electrifying energy. The album drives forward at an unstoppable pace, delivering track after track of pure rage in an explosive package, and features a lead vocalist who probably still goes home after each show with blood in his throat but who doesn't give in to the theory that all out rage, and nothing but, make for a good hardcore vocals.

"Baptism of Fire" is one of the best hardcore albums I've heard in a long time.

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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 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400.