When one thinks of a black metal / punk combination, bands like Impaled Nazarene or even recent acts like Atrament and Ancst come to mind. The music of the aforementioned bands however, is a bit different from Germany’s Bait, who recently released their EP ‘Sunburst’. Bait’s vision of a black metal / hardcore union gives equal weightage to both sides. The way the band mixes these styles is a fresh and interesting take on this hybrid sub genre. Usually, the anti establishment views of punk rock is mixed with black metal nihilism to produce a scathing sound that focuses on high speed and punk flavored riff work. Bait on the other hand, also incorporate some of the atmospheric and dissonant elements of the black metal genre to produce a well rounded mix.
The album starts with dissonant melodies ringing out on Nihil, which eventually settles into hardcore grooves with screamed vocal work. While the track does evolve into a blackened hardcore number, the black metal dissonance marks it’s presence. The first half of the album is a bit hardcore heavy. The production on the album lays emphasis on the atmosphere and this works well for the atonal riff work. Bait do not shy away from the longer tracks and tracks like Inner War are a good insight into the band’s songwriting abilities. The track begins on an aggressive note, but slowly incorporates more dissonant sections, keeping the listener hooked all the way through. Halfway through, the track heads into melancholic grounds with slowed down moments of atmospheric guitar work.
The title track follows suit in a similar fashion, with a measured pace and notes that ring out. The way Bait weave together atmospheric black metal elements and hardcore punk is almost seamless and the transitions flow quite smoothly. Some elements of beatdown hardcore can also be heard, especially when things are slowed down. Even with all their atmospheric musings, the band does not lose it’s hardcore cred as the music continues to be heavy, thanks in parts to the bass which continues to pummel the listener.
While the EP plays for just over 26 minutes, the material here offers a fresh take on blackened hardcore. Bait establish themselves as a band to watch out for with ‘Sunburst’ and this is not an EP you should sit on.