Year of release: 2021
Released by: The Sinister Flame
Rating: 8,0 / 10
It took only 29 years for Germans BAXAXAXA to release their debut album. Maybe they didn't really wanted to do this, but someone has to save the evil name of Germany, which in the last 10 years has given rise only to poseurs, mediocrities and outright faggots. The cover of "Catacomb Cult", if placed next to the previous ones, reflects all the changes that have taken place in the band's music in comparison with the demos and EP. On small releases, there were ominous cavernal drawings, and but here everything is the same, only smoother and more professional. In this, I see the weak side of the album. Earlier, in the 90s, it made sense to fundamentally separate the full-length album from other releases, since it was done for the sake of sales. But I'm sure the people who buy "Catacomb Cult" are the same people who bought "The Old Evil" and "Devoted to HIM" previously. They hunger the same archaic atmosphere, not its modernized version. I'm not saying that “Catacomb Cult” sounds too modern, but I would have poured a bucket of 30-year old dirt on it.
On the other hand, the album is very good. While discussing it, a member of LJOSAZABOJSTWA band uttered a wise phrase that made me think deeply: "Here, unlike on the previous releases, there is some feeling... Like, you are listening to this, and you think, like... eh, fucking hell!!". Perhaps there really is something like that. BAXAXAXA differ from modern bands not even in style or sound, but in abandon. While boys with bags on their heads squeeze buns blue to emphasize the universal significance of their third-rate music, the men from BAXAXAXA play fucking old metal not really thinking about the consequences. It is immediately felt that this environment is absolutely natural for them, and therefore you believe them more than the whole herd of trianglecore hipsters.
The songs on “Catacomb Cult” are great. Old SAMAEL, XANTOTOL, HELLHAMMER, TARANIS… BAXAXAXA have always been some of the best in this style. In very narrow, explored up and down boundaries, in 2021, they still give out fresh riffs that you want to listen to again and again, because they are cool and right. The best song on the album is “The Great Malicious Tongue,” a cheeky HELLHAMMER worship with almost melodic intersections. It should also be noted that the foundation of the songs is built on slow tremolos, which are structurally similar to early BURZUM stuff like two peas in a pod. A true heaven, that is, a smoking hell, for fanatics of the old good metal. The venomous, simple and raspy vocals of Patrick Kremer (owner of Iron Bonehead Prods!) are also very good. Perhaps the only thing this album lacks is some more sinister keyboard parts. They are here, but they are so rare that it feels like eternity between them.