Up next for my listening pleasure is BELPHEGOR with their 11th studio album ‘Totenritual’. I’ll be honest in the mid 90s to early 00s all I listened to was black or death metal and I don’t know why BELPHEGOR just never grabbed me then, I always thought they were just okay. So after all these years and more studio albums under their belts will they be able to change my mind?
So after pressing play am assaulted with a barrage of kick drums, while the gloom laden riffs dance to the funeral march. The sound is completed by Helmuth’s deathly growls, the thing that immediately grabs me is that BELPHEGOR seem more death metal orientated than early releases. Although the black metal influences are still there with the guitars bringing a gloom and rawness to the sound that you expect from black metal most of the time, though they do mix this up with more brutal death metal inspired frantic leads that shreds the listeners ears while the drums blast away. Am reminded of early MORBID ANGEL but infused with the rawness and bleakness of black metal.
BELPHEGOR manage to add a catchiness to the extremeness of the albums and this is evident on the tracks ‘Apothis – The Black Dragon’, ‘Spells of Reflection’ and ‘Baphomet’. BELPHEGOR have released a huge Tampa Bay influenced blackened death metal release that will appease old fans and welcome new fans into its cold black grip. However this album isn’t without fault, the instrumental track ‘Totenbeschwörer’ feels more like an intro to another track and out of place. Also the kick drum has been triggered to within an inch of its life and is sometimes a little to high in the mix.
SCORE – 7.5
02. The Devil’s Son
03. Swinefever – Regent Of Pigs
04. Apophis – Black Dragon
05. Totenkult – Exegesis Of Deterioration
07. Spell Of Reflection
08. Embracing A Star
To purchase ‘Totenritual’ then click here
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