Baron – Beneath The Blazing Abyss

Baron—it’s quite a remarkable name for a (doom) death metal band. Perhaps it was chosen because it sounds a bit like “Barren,” which itself would be too obvious because there are already tons of bands with that name? Or maybe they’re trying to tap into the stately and solemn mystique associated with nobility? The old-school song titles on Beneath The Blazing Abyss seem to contradict that latter notion… Just some musings on a rather bleak Sunday morning after King’s Day (Dutch national holiday). Anyway, the Finnish band Baron has finally released their debut album after two self-released EPs. Transcending Obscurity Records offered a contract that the band in all its nobility couldn’t refuse.

The label also gives us a few names to put Baron‘s the music in context. The reference to Deicide doesn’t quite fit; that band is much more straightforward. This becomes clear just by looking at the length of the songs. On Beneath The Blazing Abyss, there are two tracks that exceed nine minutes. You won’t find such lengths on Banished By Sin. However, the Finnish melancholy is present, making the reference to early Amorphis (before Tales From The Thousand Lakes) quite apt. But enough name-dropping for now. Let’s dive deeper into the sound of what the label calls “one of the most promising bands from that part of the world.” I like this: starting with a heavy statement and then quickly softening it by adding a region of indeterminate size.

So, with long songs (there are also two tracks under five minutes, but they seem to flow into each other) it’s always a question whether they are able to hold your attention. Well, no worries! Baron keeps the reins of attention tightly pulled with convincing vocals, excellent play, and especially by alternating within the songs between crushingly heavy doom and relentless raging death. The opener Primordial Possession — a solid seven minutes — is a prime example. A mega heavy riff tries to pound your brain into pulp, followed by a wild acceleration that tears the rest of it to shreds. When the band then slows down a bit, we hear well-thought-out melodic themes that would surely stick to your cortex, if you still had it. Most striking are the high-pitched guitar wails. I’ll conveniently call them Machine Head squeals. Anyone familiar with that band’s debut knows what I mean. And just when you’re comfortably grooving to this more modern sound, Baron shifts an immeasurable number of gears up, indicating that they are not afraid of the grindcore of their “part of the world” peers Nasum and oldNapalm Death. They close with an addictive, all-devouring guitar theme over a thick layer of thundering drums. With a saliva-spewing “Rotten to the core,” singer Tommi gives the end of the song three big exclamation marks. Powerful!

As you can see, Baron paints from a broad palette of styles and influences. The more modern ones (the aforementioned squeals, but also some keyboard work here and there) might occasionally startle die-hard old-school fans, but even they will be effortlessly kept by the speakers with the succession of catchy riffs in the old English style. I didn’t want to mention more names, but oh well. Think of the heaviness of Benediction on the magnificent Dark Is The Season. The overall sound remains firmly rooted in the rich history of death metal. The vocal approach of Tommi and his mate Jerry (backing vocals) is also largely rooted there. At its core, we hear a guttural heavy grunt, with fanatical screams and occasionally some hardcore shouting (for example, in the out-of-control Infernal Atonement) providing the necessary variety.

Baron is most majestic, as expected, in the longest tracks Dawn Of Damnation and Bound To The Funeral Pyres. In these, the band takes time to build up and tell the story both musically and lyrically. In the first, we hear expansive keyboard parts that drag the guitars into infinity until the strings break free and start providing a defiant counterpoint. Tommi seems to get angrier, while the melancholic riffs offer solace to him and the listener, as so many Finnish bands have tried to do in the past. Hesitantly (because they don’t know either) but warmly and with the best intentions, they guide the listener to the acoustic end. The second long song starts with the same hesitation in the guitar work until a few solid strikes create the sound of perseverance in a world that no longer deserves it. We even hear some choir singing, but it’s expertly roared aside and then buried under riffs heavy and rhythmic as the blows of a pile driver. Distorted solos and long-held strikes further corrupt the dark epic until very little light remains. Impressive.

A shorter track like the seething Incinerated Evil is certainly worth mentioning, but in the hellish rage presented there, there’s less room for storylines and epic grandeur, although towards the end, the riffs seek a mastodonic pace. It’s a great track to get some things out of your system, but Hands Of Sin takes it a step further, while the boundless rage doesn’t prevent the song from still being very catchy. With the opener and the two long songs, this one is also a favorite here, and if you have four favorites on an album with seven tracks, that usually means it’s quite good, right? Not even the four-minute long droning horror soundscape at the end of the album can ruin that. The cover art by Russian artist Misha Mono certainly doesn’t either. The scenes he depicts could be the start of an entire series of horror/fantasy stories, but at the very least, they seem to capture the last two song titles of the album in lines of fire.

Beneath The Blazing Abyss is an epic and gripping album that you really need to sit down for. With more than a nod to the past (I don’t think I mentioned Edge Of Sanity yet), it’s a debut that will easily convincer a broad group of death metal fans. Definitely check it out if you belong to that group.




Transcending Obscurity Records, 2024


  1. Primordial Possession
  2. Infernal Atonement
  3. At The Dawn Of Damnation
  4. Incinerated Evil
  5. Bound To The Funeral Pyres
  6. Hands Of Sin…
  7. …Swallowed By Fires Beneath


  • Tommi Astala – Vocals, guitars
  • Jerry Tamminen – Guitars, vocals, programming
  • Teemu Karell – Guitars
  • Toni Nisukangas – Bass
  • Juuso Hämäläinen – Drums