Death metal emerged as a trend during the late 1980's/early 1990's and gave birth to many bands. Baphomet came out of this movement and was considered a key part of the American death metal scene. Formed in the late 1980's, Baphomet changed members a few times before resting on vocalist Tom Frost, drummer Rick Breier, guitarist Dave Griaglow, and bassist Gary Schipani. The band released their semi-debut in 1992, entitled The Dead Shall Inherit.
A semi-debut you ask? Well, Baphomet apparently released an album or two that was quickly halted because of poor quality and the whole thing, but this was their first formal release, so a 'semi-debut' is a proper label. The Dead Shall Inherit was the first of two albums released by this band before they split, but it is considered an influence on many death metal bands. Get ready for gore and zombies; it's Baphomet time!- Matt Hensch
The eruption of interest in the death metal scene during the early 1990's sparked a burst of popularity in many areas across the globe. Sweden, Florida, and New York all thrived with a collection of idolized acts including Dismember, Morbid Angel, and Immolation, yet such an over-crowded scene was doomed to leave out some fundamental bands that were overshadowed by the fame of others. One band that sprung from New York in the late 1980's was Baphomet, but they were somewhat forgotten during death metal's uprising. Baphomet did earn a good local status and impressed several fans, but the brutal squad is most known for their work on 1992's The Dead Shall Inherit. When the CD was released, it quickly gained a hail of praise and fame across the world of death metal for its pulverizing nature of murderous harshness. The Dead Shall Inherit is akin to several other death metal albums from the early 1990's considering it was built upon the same ideologies that many groups wished to follow, yet Baphomet's attempt at brutality remains a priceless artifact amidst the scene's explosion.
Baphomet's musical style mirrors the general features of other death metal bands by applying several recognized qualities of the barbaric genre. Dave Graiglow's riffs use a series of fierce action that breaks the mold of thrashy speed notes and neck-snapping grooves with utter velocity and power. Drummer Rick Breier exhibits a variety of wonderful percussion patterns throughout the forty minutes of mayhem on this CD. Everything from traditional blastbeats to multiple bass hits pop-up and clearly explodes without sounding too overdone. Multiple positive points can be found when hearing this album, but Tom Frost's vocals effortlessly steal the spotlight. Frost's growls appear agonized and his voice is deeper than the generic low voice most death metal singers require; his grunts clearly sound more demonic and intimidating in comparison with other growlers from this musical field. Tom's vocal patterns are also cleverly connected in memorable and catchy ways that aren't forgettable at all.
Since Baphomet followed the norms of an ordinary death metal band, you're probably wondering why they're considered so special. This famous quad was highly similar to several bands at this time, but Baphomet brought some new ideas to the table with The Dead Shall Inherit. The bass is a primary component of this record's nature and it is found quite frequently in both small and large doses. Those who enjoy the company of guitar solos will be bummed to know there aren't any leads during the album's total playing time, but it works to Baphomet's advantage. Without any solos, Griaglow focuses on pounding out a montage of complex riffs and crushing grooves. The Dead Shall Inherit doesn't define the limits of death metal, but it does allow new ways to make brutal music in a proper way.
The heavy environment of Baphomet's metallic identity is a great specimen of death metal and how it should be played; this CD isn't a masterpiece, but it comes close. After this release, Baphomet had to change their name and sadly disbanded after only another album, but they made their point with this record and it stands as a trophy of what this band could do best. Those who enjoy bands like Immolation, Cannibal Corpse, and Deicide will love this puppy to pieces.
How To Get: The Dead Shall Inherit is actually pretty easy to find. It was reissued in 2006 by Peaceville Records in a cool digipack and can be ordered from Amazon.com (see buy link to get it at the antiMusic store) and the Peaceville Records Shop for a very low price. I found a copy of this at my local CD store, so check yours out too.
Fun Facts: Baphomet changed their name to Banished after The Dead Shall Inherit.
Under the name Banished, Baphomet released one album titled Deliver Me Unto Pain before disbanding.
Two songs from The Dead Shall Inherit titled "Through Deviant Eyes" and "Valley of the Dead" appeared on Banished's only release.