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Baxaxaxa – Catacomb Cult

Baxaxaxa
Catacomb Cult
by Will Travers at 17 September 2021, 6:12 PM

German Black Metal quartet BAXAXAXA have returned with a bang. Releasing their studio album “Catacomb Cult” at the start of August, they have restamped their name well and truly on the Black Metal scene. The album artwork is nothing to rant and rave about, but I did find the etching style of the image particularly pleasing.

Opening the album is the titular “Catacomb Cult”. Dark and ominous tones set the atmosphere, and it instantly paints an image of a dark and mysterious catacombs, as though it had been plucked from a B horror movie. The solid drumline lays a sturdy foundation for the track to be built on and it really does just that. The harsh vocals hitting just the right tone and substance to add a depth and dimension to the music that really just ties it together nicely.
Now, whilst “Catacomb Cult” may have felt a little laboured, or maybe sluggish.; do not fret, for there is some more energetic and up tempo (slightly) music coming your way. “As The Moon Inhaled All Sunrays” hits a more frenzied pace, somewhat more stereotypical to the genre. But in amongst the busy tracking, it can become easy to lose the music until it strips back a bit more, but I feel that this is more of a slight production issue.

“Kingdom Ablaze” is again a more hurried and driven track, but within the introduction, there is a breakaway just before the vocals come in that really is quite beautiful. I think that the deliver of this little motif, as it were, comes at the perfect time. As a breather to the intense and oppressive music. In fact, some of the little licks in the riffage really are so delicate and light, but it adds so much to the music that I feel it just wouldn’t be right if it were taken away. I just want to jump through to the finale, “Temple Of The Seven Keys”. It starts off with a bit of a misleading introduction, as it flits between slow and trudging to quite frantic and breathless. But what really stood out to me in this was the vocal line. Whilst it was very similar to what we have come across prior in the record (as I would expect) it also has some little softer corners, and these really accentuate the musicality of the track so much more than any of the others. I thought that the final track, whilst maybe not an intense, going down in flames finale, it was certainly made all the more memorable for that little addition.

Overall, a solid album that will slot comfortably into any Black Metal fan’s library. There were some production issues for me, but I tend to find that as part of the Black Metal genre as a whole. So to those involved, a well done and I look forward to seeing (or hearing) what comes next.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Catacomb Cult
2. As The Moon Inhaled All Sunrays
3. Flame Of Redemption
4. Kingdom Ablaze
5. Walpurgis Dancers
6. The Great Malicious Tongue
7. Ghosts Of Törzburg
8. Temple Of The Seven Keys
Lineup:
Traumatic – Vocals
Cryptic Tormentor – Guitar
Sulphur Irae – Bass
Condemptor – Drums / Keyboard
Record Label: The Sinister Flame
     


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