Bafomet - Official Website


Japan Country of Origin: Japan

1. Bafomet’s Hymn (Intro)
2. F.O.A.D.I.F.
3. Satánico Heavy Metal
4. Mayhemic Blackfire
5. Black Heavy Metal Punk n’ Hell
6. Burning High
7. War Metal Drinkers (Barbatos Cover)
8. 戦争儀式 (War Ritual)

Review by Felix on June 4, 2024.

Bafomet from Japan are heavily influenced by… shit, I just can’t figure it out! The artwork of their debut reminds me of something I have seen before, maybe it was in 1984 for the first time. Anyway, perhaps you have an idea which band inspired the trio from the land of the rising sun. I must focus on the album itself.

The epigones of the band that does not come to my mind (I guess it was a one man project…?) want to fool us. Their sound intends to make us believe that the last 40 years have never happened. Am I 15 years old again? If this is the case, my mirror tells me that I suffer from progeria. But my personal problems are irrelevant, more important is that Bafomet mostly focus on primitive song structures with simple riffs and a straight direction. The overdose of reverb on the lead singer’s voice is a funny attempt to build a bridge to some mega-evil pioneers of the early eighties. The rumbling snare and the guitars, apparently played with not overly filigree elephant feet, also take us on a journey through time and space, back to the clammy rehearsal rooms of young ruffians who perform metal in the most possible extreme form, only to find a way to manage their overflowing energy. In particular “Black Heavy Metal Punk n’ Hell”, “Mayhemic Blackfire” and the title track bring back the very old days. There is nothing new, nothing progressive (what does this word actually mean, nobody has an idea in the camp of Bafomet) and nothing high-sophisticated. The dudes from Nippon let it rip, they do not aim to become anyone’s darling and this is an attitude I like.

But lo and behold, there are two tracks which break out of the scheme that the self-titled debut of their idol once preset. Crimes against tradition! “Satánico Heavy Metal” is an almost melodic heavy / speed metal number with clear vocals, definitely a good one but surprisingly harmonic and nearly sensitive. (Revenge from Colombia will love this song.) But it gets even more confusing, because “Burning High” is a mid-tempo piece about nostalgic and wistful feelings. Hey dudes, what’s wrong with you? With a runtime of more than five minutes, it cannot hide its lack of substance. The song starts weakly and eases off strongly, an embarrassing “ooooohooooohooooo” line seems to be stolen from a randomly selected US American rock band and the overlong instrumental part does nothing but celebrating its own boredom. This lack of consistency makes me think of a parody, but at the end of the day, I am more or less sure that Bafomet want to be taken seriously. A solid Barbatos cover brings them back on track and shortly afterwards, only a sulphurous odour hangs in the air. This debut (equipped with a mangy production) doesn’t cross the 28 minute limit and maybe it is better this way. Not because the (mini-) album consists of vapid tracks, but because of the fact that this malicious form of metal makes a mistake when it gives the listener an album with ample playing time. This kind of generosity would reduce malice to absurdity. Thus, it is only logical that already the blueprint of “F.O.A.D.I.F.” had no desire for more than 27 minutes and 52 seconds of music.

Rating: 7.2 out of 10


Review by Fernando on December 31, 2022.

Japan has long been a wellspring of extreme metal, even if the country’s metal scene is somewhat underrated barring a handful of bands. That being said, their blackened thrash and speed scene is a reliable source of bands, and such is the case with Bafomet, and their debut LP, F​.​O​.​A​.​D​.​I​.​F. released by Black Konflik and reissued by Iron Fist Productions and Nuclear War Now! Productions.

So, Bafomet (previously known as Sigil of Bafomet) are indeed a Japanese black/speed metal band that play in the same vein as cult acts like Barbatos and Sabbat, but with a strong leaning into speed metal a la Midnight from the US, and the most interesting fact about this band, is that its founder, vocalist and bassist, “Vladphemer the Sodomizerr” is actually Chilean. Why is this interesting? Well, to put it simply, Bafomet’s style while easy to catalog as black/speed, has 2 qualities that make it a noteworthy band, and it's how the music is a perfect blend of vintage “old metal” (as Fenriz would say), and blackened speed.

The primary characteristic is how this a very catchy and energetic record, the riffs are appropriately evil sounding, yet bouncy, and when combined with the d-beat drums, make the music accessible without losing grit, as this is still a very ferocious record. Vladphemer is also a very versatile a charismatic vocalist, he of course has the mandatory raspy and reverb drenched growls one would expect for any style under the black metal umbrella, but he can also soar with the clean vocals. For the songs ‘Satánico Heavy Metal’ and ‘Burning High’, which are pure speed metal, complete with NWOBHM style melodies and wailing solos, but more impressively, the band keep the blackened grit, even when Vladphemer is clean singing in Spanish and Japanese.

While this is a very enjoyable record I can recommend to anyone who wants a more raw metal record that isn’t pure extremity. There’s one criticism I do have, and it starts with the Barbatos cover, which is ok, and fits with the band’s overall style and performance, and it's that the band comes dangerously close to just being a revivalist band, granted Vladphemer and co. do a really good job of playing vintage blackened speed, and clearly have passion for this niche, but as a whole, and taking into consideration the 2 tracks with clean singing I kept thinking about what this band could pull off without being constrained to a single, very specific style. But that’s just me looking for this band to scratch an itch they clearly aren’t interested in doing now, and it doesn’t take away how good the performances, production and overall presentation is. That being said, the cassette and CD covers that feature the Bathory goat don’t really help the band to avoid “worship band” accusations, but that’s besides the point.

Overall, and to close off this year, a Japanese blackened speed band with strong heavy metal leanings, fronted by a Chilean bassist managed to be one last surprise this year with a very promising debut record. Even if the band doesn't do anything all that new, this is still a good time record, I also advise playing it loud with beers.

Best tracks: 'F.O.A.D.I.F.', 'Satánico Heavy Metal', 'Burning High', '戦争儀式 (War Ritual)'

Rating: 8.2 out of 10