Black Baron
'Abject Skin' (LP, Digital)

There’s an intoxicating feeling inside Hamilton, Ontario, and Black Baron has managed to distill the essence of that feeling into a potent brew. In the same way that the films of David Lynch are sewn together from the fabric that holds together dreams, Black Baron creates songs from the fabric of Hamilton. While the local hardcore scene has been cutting records reminiscent of the city’s steel mills since the early 1990’s, Black Baron, a band comprised of some of the city’s hardcore elite, creates the soundtrack to a different side of the city.

Unlike the punishing steelfucker sound of Hamilton hardcore, Black Baron’s music is rooted in a deep sense of melancholy, one that does not seek destruction, but rather seeps its way into the collective consciousness following the potentiality of destruction or abandonment. Coming from a city devastated by economic decline following the shrinking of its industrial sector, Black Baron evokes the haunting memory of the closure and loss of Hamilton landmarks at a time when the city appears to be on a cultural upswing.

To ascribe a genre stamp to Black Baron’s music feels like sacrilege. While on paper the band’s sound could loosely be described as post-punk, the dreamy, nearly aquatic tones, dazzling riffage, and unabashed lyrical melodrama add dynamic elements to their sound that are typically missing from that of their peers. The band’s debut full-length album Abject Skin, which is chock full of new material along with refined versions of tracks taken from their 2013 tape Divine Chains, is a representation of a band sticking to their hometown roots all while carving their own vicious path.