Baptists Bushcraft

Converge are a band who are often imitated, but never duplicated. Unfortunately, those imitations more often irritate than innovate, or even effectively replicate. The Converge influence drips off of Baptists' debut full-length, Bushcraft. Kurt Ballou produced the album and it sounds as if Baptists asked themselves, "WWKBD?" ("What would Kurt Ballou do?") while writing it. Not only do the Vancouver, BC-based band tackle Converge's noisier, chaotic moments — a far more common undertaking — they also attempt their restrained dirges on "Still Melt" and "Soiled Roots." Although they don't manage to reach the soaring heights of Converge's forays into the sonic stratosphere, the effort is welcomed and quite successful, relatively speaking. A more pronounced d-beat influence on "Betterment" and "In Droves" separates them from the masters. Simply put, Bushcraft is the best Converge worship since the Power and the Glory dropped Call Me Armageddon in 2004. (Southern Lord)