Baptized in Pain

Eye of the Destroyer

Ever since 2016, I have been familiar with EYE OF THE DESTROYER's music. I discovered […]
By Liam Easley
May 6, 2019
Eye of the Destroyer - Baptized in Pain album cover

Ever since 2016, I have been familiar with EYE OF THE DESTROYER's music. I discovered them on Bandcamp and loved the brutal and intense sound of their EP, "Self Mutilated" that had just come out. Their first full-length and first two EP's were great as well. In August of 2017, I received an email from the band asking if I wanted to review their newest EP, "Starved and Hanging," as well as interview the band. I took both offers.

When I interviewed the band, it was for my old blog at the time. The guests were Joe Randazza, the drummer at the time now vocalist, and Chris Halpin, the guitarist. Both have been with the band since its birth in 2013.

After the release of their 2017 EP, it seems as if the band wants to forget everything that happened before 2018. When I look on their Bandcamp or their website, they scarcely mention their earlier releases. Listening to the new album, it is clear that these guys are taking on a new sound as opposed to their earlier Brutal Death Metal style. Their new sound is a very polished Slam with Groove Metal moments and even clean vocals. The final product is intriguing.

While there are some very interesting and even innovative things with this album, there is one overarching problem: its length. After a while, the slams start to lose effect because it all begins to sound the same. This album has some great tracks, but some tracks probably should have been left out. It would have cut down on the length of the album and gotten rid of potential filler. At around 50 minutes, this album can be exhausting.

However long the album is, it's definitely structured well. The better songs are all spread throughout the album, giving it support so that it isn't too tedious to get through.

As far as riff-age goes, it is very similar to that of New York Slam like newer INTERNAL BLEEDING or DEHUMANIZED before 2016. It's very groovy and polished Slam with nice tremolo moments and heavy, abrasive riffs. There is also a lot of Hardcore influence, relating it to acts like HATE DIPLOMACY.  Most of the riffing is unoriginal, however, the execution is great.

"Buried Alive" and "Starved and Hanging" are two songs that show some of the best riffs. Each song has interesting elements that make them stand out. The latter of the two has a very distinct Slam riff that is very heavy whereas the former has technicality added to the mix. There is a slight technicality every once in a while on this album, and when it happens it is very welcome.

"Disposal of Flesh" and "Starved and Hanging" are the two songs on here that feature clean vocals, something very odd for a Slam outlet. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard a Slam band use clean vocals like this before. The former song is the better example, but both tracks have clean vocals behind the already growled vocals. It is a very unique effect and its limited use makes it even more special.

Also in the realm of vocals, Randazza has a very abrasive and fierce voice for this band. It sounds great, especially for their style. Notably, on "Baptized in Pain," his vocals have a more Groove Metal sound to them. The track overall is definitely a highlight, as Randazza's vocals have great melody and the riffs are heavy and technical.

As far as slams go, my favorite one was on "Endless Suffering". It wasn't much different from the other slams except there was something about the way it was executed that just felt right. The slam hits just right and its heaviness is sustained throughout the whole thing. "Death Master" and "False Prophet" also had great slams.

The second full-length from EYE OF THE DESTROYER is heavy and fresh. While there are a few songwriting flaws, they are so small that it would be a waste of time to point them out. "Baptized in Pain" is a fresh take on New York-styled Slam, and I look forward to seeing what they cook up next.

8 / 10









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"Baptized in Pain" Track-listing:

1. Rebirth
2. Buried Alive
3. Death Master
4. Body Snatcher
5. Life of Deceit
6. Postmortem Mutilation
7. Baptized in Pain
8. False Prophet
9. Disposal of Flesh
10. Twisted Perception
11. Starved and Hanging
12. Stalked and Slain
13. Endless Suffering
14. Violent by Design
15. Plagued with Regret
16. Face Down

Eye of the Destroyer Lineup:

Joe Randazza - Vocals
Chris Halpin - Guitars
Dan Kaufman - Bass
John Scott - Drums

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