It has been three long and cold years since Austria’s Belphegor has graced us with their legendary hateful sounds. Lineup changes have interfered with Belphegore’s ability to record, but being ever resourceful, they’ve unleashed their ninth album to date on August 8th, 2014. With Helmuth on vocals, “Conjuring the Dead”, takes on a more pronounced death metal feel than the band’s other releases.
Being a black metal elitist type, I found myself longing for the classic and frigid sounds of Blutsabbath or even the hate-filled screams of Bondage Goat Zombie, particularly in the beginning of the album. That, however, could have been a personal preference. “Conjuring the Dead” is solid, well produced, death metal release–a force to be reckoned with–bearing all of the ferocity of prior releases.
The album really starts to pick up around the fifth track–”Black Winged Torment”–with dissonant riffing and melodic undertones. This trend continues to spread throughout the release like a malignant tumor, reaching a high point in the track “Lucifer, Take Her”, a particularly dramatic track, a prototypical Belphegor song, that accentuates all elements of the true Belphegor we’ve grown to love over the years. They end the album eerily, with the foreboding and slower track, “Pactum in Aeturnum”.
Overall, “Conjuring the Dead” is a solid release, even if it’s not truly representative of Belphegor’s career. This release may get lost in the mix in comparison to the colder and more intense prior releases. Even though “Conjuring the Dead” may not stand out as one of Belphegor’s more memorable albums, it will not disappoint fans. But listen for yourself. Below is the official music video for Conjuring the Dead (some of the most evil shit I’ve seen in the past month). Happy Listening. Hails!