BELPHEGOR - Blood Magik Necromance CD
Genre: Blackened Death
My favorite Austrian blackened death metal band? Yeah I know that sounds funny. Actually BELPHEGOR are one of my favorite bands,period and to say this was highly anticipated by me is an understatement. On this their ninth full length the band seems to have gone "epic". It took me quite a few listens to get into this mainly because of the Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY) of Sweden's Abyss Studios, production revamp. I'm not saying that their last few releases were not lite on the polish but on Blood Magik Necromance they didn't spare any. Yeah well I am a huge fan so when the opener "In Blood – Devour This Sanctity" blasted out from my speakers it was a deju vu moment of when I saw them on their Bondage Goat Zombie tour. I'll be seeing them again this year as well, I can hear Helmuth now; "Raleigh do you love Satan?" But getting back to this one, BELPHEGOR seem to have taken a few cues from their Polish friends BEHEMOTH in that their songs have become grandiose. There's still that raw DM simplicity of the riffs blended their high speed black metal attack and with the classical music influences but there's plenty of add ons.
The opening of the second cut "Rise to Fall and Fall to Rise" has symphonic keyboards washing over everything with melody. They stick with it throughout the song as a back drop. This was the scariest part of the release since that overuse of keyboards kinda had a DIMMU BORGIR feel to it, a sick feeling. Thankfully it was the only poor moment of this release. It's not till the third and title cut where the band (aka: Helmuth - vocals & guitars plus Serpenth on bass along with their latest session drummer Martin "Marthyn" Jovanović) cuts loose from their modern incarnation and the BELPHEGOR of old raises it's ugly head. It's as if Helmuth has taken everything he's done on the band's past three releases and packed them into one almighty masterpiece of a song. From this point on the rest of the release is superb. Songs like "Discipline Through Punishment" add soft melody and mood as if a prelude to torture which does come on "Angeli Mortis De Profundis" as well as "Impailed Upon the Tongue of Sathan". The latter of those two I expect to here live. While listening to "Impailed Upon the Tongue of Sathan" for the first time I expected my hardwood floor to explode upward as a giant hand rises forth saluting me with the horned fist. Yeah well I say that about every BELPHEGOR release. The rest of it follows suit leaving fan or newbie with a few days off of your life expectancy.