Baptized in Blood’s star rising

Boasting heavy guitar riffs and punishing drum beats, London, Ontario band Baptized In Blood is set to make its return to Metro Moncton with a show next Thursday evening at the Manhattan Bar & Grill.

The Canadian thrash band released its major-label debut this past October via Roadrunner Records, a prestigious heavy metal label that is also home to renowned acts including Megadeth, Slipknot and Korn. From his London-area home, Baptized In Blood member Matt Harris says that the band is extremely happy to consider themselves a part of the Roadrunner family.

“Before we had signed to them, we had been working on them for a few years,” Harris says. “We had the label’s Canadian general manager out to one of our shows and she was kind enough to offer us pointers on what to do and what not to do from a professional standpoint. The label also suggested we get management and a booking agent and once we had all of those suggestions put into place, we had them out to another show and they got to see how hard we had been working.”

The group cut its self-titled Roadrunner debut with producer Zeuss in his latter’s Massachusetts studio. The decision to go with Zeuss was a fairly easy one for the band as he had worked with bands that Harris says they admired as a group.

“Zeuss really stood out because he had worked on records by bands like Hatebreed and Shadows Fall that we had loved over the years.”

Harris says that the producer guided the band in fine-tuning their song arrangements more than anything else. Having the opportunity to “escape” to the producer’s studio in the United States was perhaps more important as far as Harris is concerned.

“The social aspect of making a record could be very distracting if we had stayed in our hometown to make the record. It was good to be away from that and almost isolate ourselves so that we were focused on nothing aside from making our record for a solid month.”

Recently, Baptized In Blood’s career got a boost when legendary metal figure Dave Mustaine of Megadeth signed on to help manage the band. The band had the opportunity to meet Mustaine at a London Megadeth show and passed him a copy of their album. The rest is history.

“A week after we had met Dave, he called us to propose helping to manage us,” Harris confirms.

“It was so humbling to have such a legend in the world of heavy metal want to have anything to do with us,” he laughs. “We are still speechless.”

Given the fact that Megadeth is still going strong 25-plus years into its career, we took the opportunity to get Matt’s thoughts on longevity in heavy metal.

“If you look at the longevity of heavy metal bands, it is mind-blowing,” Harris says. “Bands we listened to 10 years ago are still around and making music, which is more than can be said for a lot of pop acts.”

Asked why he believes heavy metal bands have had such impressive staying power over the years, his simple answer is, “I think heavy metal speaks a lot of truth through the music. Fans can hear the passion and the sweat that went into making the music. It comes from the heart more than almost any other genre does.”

Article published in May 13, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript