Review Summary: Although not the most original album ever Baptists's "Bushcraft" does make a very high intensity and high energy level album without straying to far from what influences them with heavy guitars, fury laden drum fills and some furious vocals.
The idea of blending the genres of metal and hardcore punk (or just "metallic Hardcore" if you wanna call it that) is not really a new thing now a days with many bands sticking to their guns and just pushing the same sound as the previous band before them did.With that same sound the genre has become a little stale with many bands not breaking out of the mold.While many of these bands don't really step out of the circle it becomes apparent at this point that this is an intentional choice because they like the sound (obviously) of this genre and don't see a need to change it. Enter Baptists a band who is not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves and really don't care if you compare them to any of their predecessors even if their main influence is very obvious; Converge. Although Converge is a definite source of influence to Baptist they do manage to take this influence and fuse it together with their own brand of sounds and their own style as well with some pretty good song writing on their new outing "Bushcraft".
The one main give away that will have you thinking Converge is the guitar playing of Danny Marshall. Danny's guitar playing is very chaotic, intense, wailing, and at times, spastic almost paying homage to the sounds of early Converge records such as "Jane Doe" or "You Fail Me". The song "Think Tank Breed" is a very heavy and chaotic song with the guitars playing all over the place with heavy power chords and crazy little guitar parts. Though "Bushcraft" is for the most part all about beating the listener into submission Baptist are well aware that you need to do more then just be the craziest band in town to keep people interested with the band slowing things down a bit like on the song "Still Melt" with it's resonating guitars and slow moving drum beat or on the song "Soiled Roots" where the whole band slowly plays until all the instruments slowly fade.
Even though the guitars on here a huge focus on this album it's the drums that ultimately steal the show. Nick Yacyshyn's insane drum fills and break neck d-beats swell through the entirety of this whole album.A great show casing of abilities is on the song "Bushcraft" where Nick lets loose with a fury of blast beats and d-beats switching constantly between the two sounds or on the first track "Betterment" where the cymbals ring out for the first thrity-eight seconds until it starts up into a d-beat. Vocally you won't find anything to new to write home about but vocalist Andrew Drury does add enough character and switches his vocal patterns from time to time to add enough variety where it doesn't go stale.
Though "Bushcraft" doesn't really bring anything new to the table and it's main influences are pretty obvious, Baptists do have enough energy and do add enough variety to their songwriting style to separate themselves from the pack and keep the listener engaged.The only real issue one might have with this LP is that Baptists showcase more often then not their influences so much to the point where it does seem like you've heard certain things in this album that you've heard before in other bands from this genre rather then Baptists stepping out of their comfort zone to at least try a few new things. Still experimentation may not be the prime case with this album or with Baptist in general but Baptist do come up with an album that is very much worth the time and effort the listener will put into it.