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A Baptism By Fire: Darkness Welcomed

Originally released in 2016 and remixed in 2021 to celebrate its five-year anniversary, Darkness Welcomed by one-man band A Baptism By Fire is a grim slice of Canadian progressive-/power-metal -- with haunting song titles and lyrics. For starters, think early Savatage and early Megadeth.

The brainchild of Ontario-based multi-instrumentalist Samual Stirpe (The Fiction in Folklore), who wrote all 11 songs and plays all instruments, A Baptism By Fire also features full-throated Lucas Di Mascio from the Canadian metal band Malacoda on vocals.

The brief instrumental “Prologue” opens Darkness Welcomed and then suddenly fades out, as if incomplete. That seems to be a Stirpe signature, though, as other tracks -- such as the pulverizing “Beneath Barren Waters” and “Welcome the Chaos” -- also conclude abruptly and will leave you begging for more. “This Surrender” ranks among the strongest and most memorable songs here, followed by “The Weeping,” a mostly instrumental cut that allows Stirpe to show off his deft musicianship on drums, keys, bass and serrated guitars.

As with many DIY releases, the artwork could be more engaging and the production crisper, but Stirpe displays a penchant for writing and performing potent metal songs that deserve a wider audience. Here’s hoping this reissue (and this review) helps.

Track Listing:
1. Prologue
2. Beneath Barren Waters
3. This Surrender
4. Escape from Time
5. Speak the Dark Echoes
6. The Weeping
7. Welcome the Chaos
8. The Hunter
9. Abyss Undo the Spiral
10. Her Serpent’s Kiss
11. The Conclusion

Added: September 14th 2021
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: A Baptism By Fire on Facebook
Hits: 645
Language: english

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