The blend of death and black is by now an established component of Belphegor’s music. Better again, the black metal is more in the lyrics than in the music itself. And oddly enough, they perform better on slower and more pensive rhythms than they do on relentless ones, as notably proved in “Rex Tremendae Maiestatis”, a theatrical, surreal and dramatic homage to Mozart’s unfinished composition Requiem in D minor K626.
The opener Gasmask Terror showcases Helmuth’s always enjoyable range of ghastly screams and grunts, and a ferocious riffing that partially takes back to the ancient, indeed more aggressive Belphegor of The Last Supper. Introduced by an eerie violin, the title track follows, and it features some unexpected folkish elements before setting into the characteristic dissonant chords and a more traditional structure. “In Death” and “Black Winged Torment” are further examples that take us back to the slaughtering feast of the oldest Belphegor, although with an ultra-polished, triumphant Nuclear Blast-like production.
After the short but suggestive passage of “The Eyes”, back to full gruesomeness with “Legions of Destruction”, proposing dynamic changes of tempo and the vocals of Glen Benton and Attila Csihar to empower the ensemble. “Flesh Blood And Bones” and “Lucifer, Take Her” stand out for the varied use of the guitars, overall less harmonic if compared with the largest part of the band’s latest works. “Pactum In Aeternum” closes with an obscure invocation played on the contrast between tribal, hypnotic rhythms and dreamy arpeggios.
Conjuring the Dead gives no clue to speak of a masterpiece, anyway it can certainly count on a skilled songwriting and a good balance between inhuman speed and grisly representations that well embodies Helmuth and Serpenth’s imagery. No blast of genius, but well done.
Release date: August 8 2014 on Nuclear Blast.
1. Gasmask Terror
2. Conjuring the Dead
3. In Death
4. Rex Tremendae Majestatis
5. Black Winged Torment
6. The Eyes
7. Legions of Destruction
8. Flesh, Bones and Blood
9. Lucifer, Take Her!
10. Pactum in Aeternum
Helmuth: vocals, guitars
Alexandra “Dollface” Van Weitus: Voice
Glen Benton: Voice in Legions of Destruction
Attila Csihar: Voice in Legions of Destruction
Norwin Palme: Synth
Sebastian Lanser: Synth
Text by Arianna