German Black Metal has always been something that has had difficulties to get recognition from other parts of the world. Whether it were the ill-fated bands on the infamous Last Episode Records roster or a band like Morrigan, for various reasons a lot of bands were massively overlooked or even ridiculed. Amongst the die-hard tape traders and collectors bands like Moonblood and Nargaroth gained some success and a label like Sombre Records restored some of its glory, but still… A band like Ungod mainly had its success within the band’s native borders. It has been in recent years that a lot of bands started to receive the recognition they (always) deserved.
Not only did bands like the aforementioned Morrigan and Ungod (re)appeared on respectable labels and received proper underground distribution, but even some really underground oddities like Baxaxaxa resurfaced and gained reasonable success anno 2023. This band was created in 1992 as some sort of side-project of Ungod and recorded one demo tape in that same year. That demo tape was re-released on a split 12”/CD with, again, Ungod in 2002 through the revered Merciless Records.
While Ungod was resurrected from its grave in 2008, Baxaxaxa needed almost another decade before it was awakened from its untimely death. Now both bands do coexist and are rather active, on stage as well as through newly recorded material. From that latter category we now have Baxaxaxa’s second full-length album in hand. Anyone who has been into the obscurities of the those 90’s recordings or picked up the band on a later stage: ‘De Vermis Mysteriis’ is still bringing Black Metal the rough and crude way. The album, clocking in at just over 40 minutes, is filled to the brim with fairly simple and atmospheric Black Metal, clearly paying homage to the First Wave of Black Metal not being all too far removed from bands like Mortuary Drape, Varathron, Barathrum, Necromantia or Samael. All the ingredients of primordial Black Metal are there: a bass-heavy sound, moody layers of keyboards, shouted vocals; everything topped off with a recognizable production, giving enough space for all individual instruments and parts of the music to shine. Although ‘De Vermis Mysteriis’ comes over three decades after the first recordings of the band, it sounds more authentic than ever, giving ever so much the ancient feeling of Black Metal during those early, roaring 90’s.
Being able to put a band like Baxaxaxa back on the map proves that the love for that primal sound has never been completely gone and even seems to be falling into more favourable ground these days. It is no coincidence that bands like Moenen Of Xezbeth, Forbidden Temple and Perverted Ceremony are received with great interest these days. It may have taken 30 years, but Baxaxaxa have finally and clearly carved their name in the illustrious ranks of Black Metal originators.