De Vermis Mysteriis
Review by Felix on September 10, 2023.
Once Baxaxaxa did absolutely nothing, for years, but still had a legendary reputation in the underground. Since 2019, everything changed. Now they are almost hyperactive. They are overflowing with new material and have now discovered a medieval myth for themselves: De Vermis Mysteriis. Seven songs form the eponymous long-player and all them contribute to a dark and coherent overall picture. Baxaxaxa stand knee deep in the boiling essence of true black metal and external influences from other genres are absolutely not to find. That’s a good thing, everything else would have been a disappointment. Cult needs to stay true, otherwise it is no cult any longer.
Compared with their debut, Baxaxaxa have given the songs a slightly better flow without losing just one percent of their cruelty. The creaky sound of the guitars already makes sure of that. The same goes for the utterly savage voice. Traumatic is not only the pseudonym of the lead vocalist, but also a suitable term to describe his performance. This guy should not be involved in radio plays for children - long-term damage would be the result. But here, of course, he performs in a very convincing way. Whenever the keyboards add a lot of melodic depth, he reminds us with his evil voice that Baxaxaxa haven’t returned for romantic feelings. I like this division of labour very much, because I do not need black metal for a romance. I prefer my lovely and beautiful girlfriend, haha.
Baxaxaxa have saved the best for last. 'Necrolatry Libation' (I hope this title does not mean that they stop recording music) is a real monument. Its outstanding substance justifies every minute of it. The song holds atmospheric and dramatic, aggressive and devastating parts, while its melodies transport very menacing vibes and everything goes hand in hand. Only the ending, a simple fade-out, has left room for optimization, but I guess we can ignore this minor detail. The title track marks another highlight. It attacks with full force and high velocity, but it also does not lack depth. And I am surprised how evil the word “Baxaxaxaxaxaxa” can sound. Or is this an act of self-mockery? Anyway, the guitar lines are great, the double bass adds pressure and the guitars nip any opposition in the bud.
Generally speaking, no song falls through the net, only the short intermezzo 'Decarnation Monument' remains pretty vapid. 'Kiss Of Shame', for instance, is a fine massacre where only the keyboards send some rays of light. I could mention more examples, but generally speaking, this is the most mature album from Baxaxaxa so far. They really have taken care for all aspects a strong back metal album needs. Needless to say that they did not forget to forge an appropriate production, very direct, very devastating and with a lot of evil vibes. The sound is able to reflect all facets of their sound – tragedy, despair, isolation, bitterness, misanthropy and much more. Therefore I can really recommend this album – it’s their best one so far. Just trust Felixlixlixlixlixlix.
Rating: 8.4 out of 101.11k
Review by Vladimir on July 28, 2023.
Oh boy, did black metal really start to attack this year from all sides because there are so many bands and so many releases to check out, yet so little time. Among these bands that I came across is Baxaxaxa from Germany, which a lot of people mentioned before and recommended to me at some point. The album that I’ll be reviewing is their second full-length album De Vermis Mysteriis, set to be released on September 1st via The Sinister Flame label. As I’ve already mentioned this in the past, September 1st seems like one heck of a date for highly anticipated black metal releases since we’re getting Marduk’s "Memento Mori", Taake’s "Et Hav Av Avstand" and you’ve guessed it, Baxaxaxa’s De Vermis Mysteriis. I honestly never got the chance to check out Baxaxaxa’s entire discography, so as a newcomer I really had to approach this one carefully and do my best to see what it’s worth. So, was it worth it? Let’s find out…
The musical output on this album heavily utilizes tremolo riffing guitars and drums in mid-tempo, while the drums frequently switch to a faster tempo, that often being double-bass drumming, and on top of that we have some dirty and raspy vocals with a very slight harsh sound to them. The second track 'De Vermis Mysteriis' incorporates the often heard but traditional black metal riffing and drumming in style of 90’s Darkthrone, but alongside we have some wicked chords in lower register that feel almost like death metal riffs. A slight game changer here is the introduction of those Brazilian extreme metal reverse blast beats on the third track 'Kiss Of Shame', but the style remains all around the same for the song’s entirety. There are interesting inclusions on this album, such as the wicked and somewhat Black Sabbath style doomy moment on the fourth track 'Awaken, The Old Thing In The Ground', which is accompanied by sitar and synths during the song’s gloomy section. The only exception on this album is the sixth track 'Decarnation Monument' which is a dark ambient track with some evil chanting in the background, serving as an interlude and a build up to the final and longest track on this album, 'Necrolatry Libation'.
The general songwriting is quite amusing and dynamic, but I would also say that it’s very minimal yet effective. The songs are very mesmerizing to listen to, carrying some sort of wicked charm that will posses the listener during certain sections that successfully hold your attention, the best example being the tracks 'Above The Stellar Gateway' and 'Necrolatry Libation', both of which are pretty epic and perhaps my favorite of the bunch. All the songs definitely have some sort of macabre and occult vibe to them, which really contributes a lot to this album’s general quality. As for the album’s production, all I can say is that everything is balanced to the point where everything sounds really polished, but on the other hand, the instruments maintain their heaviness and it certainly didn’t take away the black metal essence in any of these songs.
I have to say that this album is very good and it definitely deserves to be noticed by fans of underground black metal. When I approached De Vermis Mysteriis, I was not familiar with Baxaxaxa’s previous works, so I was going into this album completely bare bones. I did not regret what I have discovered, so I have to say that this was a very pleasant experience, and I can’t say anything else other than to recommend that you check this one out.
Rating: 8.2 out of 101.11k