Belphegor – Conjuring the Dead (Nuclear Blast)Sunday, 10th August 2014
Hands down, I’d place this among the best of the best black/death metal albums this year. Belphegor seem to have put everything into Conjuring the Dead and it conjures much more than the dead. This album calls for every demon, witch, ghoul, goat and metalhead around because it says Belphegor are back and they’re angrier, edgier and more vicious than ever and perversely blasphemous as always.
So on one lowly, frustrating and depressing day I received Belphegor’s new album and there was no better time to lay my ears into it. The first three songs were great but then I got to the fourth track, “Rex Tremendae Majestatis.” I listened to that song about twenty times for approximately two hours straight, the same fucking song over and over as if I were trapped in it, I was immediately attached. The eerie atmosphere is incredibly solacing when facing feelings of emptiness or depression, and though the majority of tones are more melancholy, many have just enough aggressive vigor to both counter and complement anger. It was just what I needed to raise my spirits and I know this entrancing piece will be appreciated by many others.
With a theatrically haunting intro, hammering guitar riffs and overall tumultuous tune, “Black Winged Torment” is another one of the many masterworks on this album. “Legions of Destruction,” enough said in the title. Legions. Of. Destruction. This song has a Hellish atmosphere crawling with a terrifically terrifying blend of bestial guttural growls, wicked vokills and nasty screams, sounds more like a legion of demons.
Sometimes it’s challenging for bands to create new music while maintaining their distinctive essence of sound but that’s obviously not an issue for Belphegor, quite the contrary. While they experimented and twisted up their already obscure death metal style, their raw n’ savage core stands strong. Conjuring the Dead shows that they’ve really sharpened that one of a kind Belphegor sound of theirs.
Conjuring the Dead is like the plague: contagious and deadly, and Belphegor are rapidly spreading it. Once you get it there’s no going back. All considered, anyone who digs anything from obscurely epic black metal to violently brutal death metal is almost guaranteed to develop a fetish for Conjuring the Dead.