Belphegor – Conjuring the Dead

Belphegor - Conjuring The Dead - Artwork

Austrian blasphemers BELPHEGOR are back with their crushing tenth studio effort Conjuring The Dead which is out now via Nuclear Blast Records. After nine releases you would think this group would begin to flail, but nonetheless they prove that they are still as heavy and satanic as ever. After giving it a few spins my attention never once wandered while listening, so let’s take a look at this wall of sound.

If you’re not careful with your volume levels and you start “Gasmask Terror” you will immediately feel your ears bleed. Straight out of the gate this thunderous, relentless attack of Blackened Death Metal glory will kick you in the teeth; I’ve never heard any group execute this genre as well as BELPHEGOR. The title track follows with an introduction of a witch that speaks Satan’s words; the pummeling double bass under the slow grooving death riffs releases a sinister feeling and the vocals are as evil as ever. “In Death” ironically has more of a straightforward Death Metal vibe hinting at a slight CANNIBAL CORPSE influence and also has some serious shred work going on.

Keeping things interesting with “Rex Tremendae Majestatis” which if you know your history, shares the title of a Mozart movement of the same appellation translating to “King of Tremendous Majesty”; this track is an epic masterpiece including various melodies and passages that blend well together and although it doesn’t resemble Mozart’s piece, it exudes the same feeling. Kicking it back to the classic sound “Black Winged Torment” has the eerie shrieks, soaring dive-bombs and out of this world blast beats that make for no bullshit fucking Metal! For a serene yet ominous journey of musical bliss through the mist of the forests of Carpathia, look no further than “The Eyes” interlude.

Winding back up to speed, “Legions of Destruction” comes in with tormented vocals and a raw guitar attack. The production is exceptional and not overly polished; this is the type of music that was made to scare the shit out of you, like the soundtrack to some Texas Chainsaw Massacre-type stuff. Appropriately, “Flesh Bones and Blood” follows as the groover of the album; this one will have the mosh pits going strong with the slower almost sludge-filled riffs. This is the perfect example of how my attention was kept throughout entire sittings; none of the songs sound the same which is a feat in this genre.

To successfully close out this epic display of terror, “Lucifer, Take Her!” blends the fastest and slower elements from previous tracks. There are also haunting yells of a woman being taken that complement the music and really put you there. “Pactum In Aeternum” is the ending of the previous song and it starts without notice; the spooky acoustics are prevalent here and continue the summoning of the Dark Lord. There is a very ritualistic feel of this closing and the loose translation has something to do with an agreement with Satan, this is some serious shit.

I highly recommend Conjuring The Dead for fans of Death Metal and Black Metal alike. It’s very diverse and intense and gives you a lot to listen to, I know I will continue to spin this one. Be sure to pick up your copy!

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Gasmask Terror”, “Rex Tremendae Majestatis”, “Black Winged Torment”, “Legions of Destruction”, “Lucifer”, “Take Her!/ Pactum In Aeternum”

RATING: 9/10


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