Austria’s kings of Blackened Death Metal return with dynamic 12th album “The Devils”
Belphegor have been perverting the line that straddles black and death metal since 1992 with a very uncompromising sound and attitude. However with their new album “The Devils” they are building on that signature sound with more dynamics and unexpected moments.
Starting things off, is the title track of the album “The Devils”. The first thing that hits me, is the mid paced chugging riff, and some pure death metal vocals. Also the production also grabs you – this is superb, adding a real depth of heaviness to the sound. A fine start, definitely setting a thumping ahead…
“Totentanz – Dance Macabre” is the most second an most recent single released from the album. Starting off with the screams of some poor tortured wretch, this is your typical Belphegor type track. Fast, Heavy, in your face. Blast-beats prevail throughout, like a machine gun nest firing away at oncoming enemies. Serpenth’s bass is also nicely audible here, offering a grumbling underpinning to proceedings.
Now comes something a tad different..
After the pummeling from the second track, third song “Gloriefizieurung des Teufels” (Glorification of The Devils). starts with an acoustic respite for several seconds, before a big nasty riff kicks in, before sliding away to the acoustic again. However, once that riff returns, it is building into something evil – or so you think. Surprisingly we get another peaceful acoustic part with harsh whispered vocals, before the riff returns, This forms the base of another relatively slow paced song for Helmuth and co. This songs ebbs and flows from light to dark, dark to light, indeed adding some serious dynamic to the Belphegor sound. Great track!
The fast double kicks are back for “Damnation – HoellenSturz” (Hellfall). This time laying the base for a hefty slow, and very heavy riff. This is one of those tracks that drag you along by the collar, picking up speed then slowing down again.
The tremolo-picked riff of “Virtus Asinaria – Prayer” slithers like the coils of a hunting black mamba, until we are met with Gregorian chant like vocals over a more typical black metal vocal. It’s definitely not your typical Belphegor fair. In fact, its got an almost trancey quality too it – as in it creates a nice mood within ones head. Well I think so anyway….
Back to more familiar territory..
As the fifth track ends, it melts seamlessly into the sixth “Kingdom of Cold Flesh“. This is back to our more regular Belphegor sound. The blasts are back in force on this one, but their is a subtle melody running throughout. The bass break 20 seconds from the end overlaid with Helmuth’s screams is great!
“Ritus Incendium Diabolus” is the most straightforward, heads down, christraping track so far. Vicious, and scalpel-sharp. Again, we get more of that monk-like chanting in this one that greatly adds to the atmosphere.
A tribal style drum beat calls us forth now for “Creature of Fire“. This penultimate track is almost a prayer to evil and darkness, with female wailings (can’t think of a better word) over gutturally growled verses.
And now we meet our end..
Unfortunately every album good or bad, has to reach its end, and Belphegor save one of their best for last. “Blackest Sabbath 1997” is back to that old style of their music. Savage, fast paced, and with several twists and turns, its an absolute belter to end this album. This track is listed as a bonus track on my pre-release copy, but it does look like this will be part of the main listing once the album is given its public release.
Summing it up..
I have always liked Belphegor, but this has proved to be a far better listen than I was expecting. With enough helpings of different things throughout all the songs, it made for a much easier listen than previous albums like “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” for example. So, yes, I very much enjoyed this album. It’s just the right length, and as said earlier, the production is superb, adding to the overall heaviness of a well crafted album.
The album is released on July 29th
Cover art is cool as F*** don’t you think?!!
01 – The Devils
02 – Totentanz – Dance Macabre
03 – Glorifizierung Des Teufels
04 – Damnation – Hoellensturz
05 – Virtus Asinaria – Prayer
06 – Kingdom of Cold Flesh
07 – Ritus Incendium Diabolicus
08 – Creature of Fire
09 – Blackest Sabbath 1997
- CD 15.99 Euros