Baghead – Betrayal

Baghead is a band with an almost scary level of ambition. You know those artists in underground metal who are dead-set on making their music a career and seem to do nothing but things related to the band? Baghead is one of those collectives; according to the band’s Myspace, their name has been featured on over 250,000 items, ranging from demos and compilations to lighters and thongs. Such a relentlessly professional attitude extends to their music; impeccably played and similarly produced, it exudes an aura of passionate drive the consumes the members of this band.

Baghead plays a breed of very modern, somewhat melodic and technical thrash metal that takes notes ranging from Slayer to Machine Head to Nevermore. There’s a lot in the way of fast-paced stop/start chug riffs meshing with more complex and melodic leads (not unlike New Yorkers God Size Hate). Perhaps the best reference to make, though, is as a more measured and less frantic version of Iowa’s Freaklabel. Baghead plays a similar bleed of dramatic death-influenced thrash metal which places a high influence on rhythm and intense delivery as the primary carrier of the band’s vision. There are some surprisingly progressive leanings, like the Mediterranean-tinged acoustic guitar at the beginning of ‘In Hell – Help Me’. The majority of the material is of a more straightforward nature, though, without much room for experimentation.

I have a feeling that Baghead excels in the live environment. While the material on this EP is solid in its own right, the sound just seems like it would be that much more powerful 5 feet away from you in a small club. The thick, robust production does help to capture that intense sound, and the possessed performances of each member add to the aura of brutality, but I think little would be able to replace the vision of these guys pounding away at a live set. That said, this EP is a great addition for anyone who loves their modern thrash metal, and will disappoint no one who loves heavy, dense riffing, brutal vocals, and catchy, solid songwriting. Give this a try, or, better yet, go to a show and pick it up; you’ll probably want to after they play.

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~ by noktorn on December 18, 2007.

2 Responses to “Baghead – Betrayal”

  1. They put on a great live show…they are all great musicians.

  2. These guys played with Mushroomhead not too long back. And wow, they really put a great show together. Non-stop solid metal. The crowd was just as energetic as they were. I’ve never seen an international bands crowd get that amped for the local band that opened. 5 stars to these guys. And to top off they threw in Cowboys From Hell in tribute to the late and great Dimebag. PICK THIS ALBUM UP!!!!

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