Oct 092017

 

(We present DGR’s detailed review of the new album by Belphegor, which is out now on the Nuclear Blast label.)

You could be forgiven for thinking that at this point in their career Austria’s Belphegor would’ve been perfectly okay to rest on their laurels a bit. Having long ago established themselves as one of the more popular extreme black-metal-infused death metal acts out there, currently housed over at Nuclear Blast, and building a career draped in the worlds of blasphemy and a logo bearing prominent inverted crosses, Belphegor have defined themselves as one of the go-to groups for heavy metal’s dose of Satan.

Totenritual, the group’s eleventh album in a career spanning well over twenty years could’ve had the band serve up another smattering of heavier-than-the-Earth guitars and bellowing vocals, yet the Belphegor crew seem to have found new life in their chosen font of death and draw from it for the gathering on Totenritual. Totenritual does have its fair share of minor quirks, but overall Belphegor has honed in on a very focused sound — one which they hammer home numerous times over the nine songs that make up the disc. The album again shows the relic of subtlety (which Belphegor tossed a long time ago, in case albums titled Lucifer Incestus and Bondage Goat Zombie didn’t point you in the right direction) cast off in favor of nine tracks fueled by — and introduced numerous times by — the devil.

Aug 282017

 

(DGR prepared the following round-up, featuring three items of news and new music that surfaced last week.)

Last week was a densely packed week for metal, with a lot of huge names like Arch Enemy, Ghost, and Mastodon all releasing music videos, and that wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg in metal news. There was so much that seemed to land backloaded onto Friday that it seemed like metal had just decided to spin up into one of its whirling torrents of destruction modes. Thus I once again step in to write about some of the things that caught my interest within the tornado of heavy metal that thrashed about over the week.

This time around we’re going to do a little traveling again, with two musical releases from Sacramento’s The Kennedy Veil, and Austria’s Belphegor, and then we’re going to take a look at the crowdfunding campaign from Lansing, Michigan’s own Dagon and their latest quest to write more ocean-themed death metal.

THE KENNEDY VEIL

It’s been some time since we last heard from Sacramento’s hyperspeed death metal group The Kennedy Veil. In the time since 2014’s Trinity Of Falsehood, The Kennedy Veil have seen the addition of a new vocalist, Monte Barnard, whose resume includes a ton of live vocalist work for groups like Alterbeast, Fallujah, and Thy Art Is Murder, in addition to having been the vocalist for The Antioch Synopsis and the short-lived Soma Ras. Last week the band were finally able to release details about their new disc, Imperium — which is due out October 20th — as well as release a new song, which premiered at Decibel.

Jul 172017

 

(DGR takes over round-up duties again, with this collection of new songs and videos from eight bands.)

The end-of-the-week news flood was insane, as we have settled well into summer now and a lot of bands are either gearing up to hit the road or are already out making numerous loops on the festival circuit. Of course, this also means that there are a lot of albums in the hopper, getting ready to come out within weeks, or you’ll start seeing a lot of press for albums set to hit when the first leaves of fall drop.

That’s how you wind up with posts like this SEEN AND HEARD that helped kick off the weekend — not even counting our own fuel that we added to the fire, and the one that you’re reading now, which is basically just a gigantic dragnet for bands that had premieres elsewhere throughout the tail end of last week, or just blasted that thing right out to the world to see.

This episode of SEEN AND HEARD is eight (!) bands deep and skews death-metal heavy, so prepare yourselves for a lot of gigantic grooves, growled vocals, enough blasts to reach gunfire status, and enough chainsaw guitar destruction to fuel the planet.

Oct 062015

Swallow the Sun-Songs From the North

 

Yesterday and today brought yet another flood of very good new song and video premieres, many of which I’ve collected in this post. This is another instance where there’s so much music I want to share that I’m having to throttle my tendency to spill great piles of words on top of the music. Instead, there will be only small molehills of words.

SWALLOW THE SUN

Yesterday Finland’s Swallow the Sun premiered a lyric video for one of the vast number of songs on their forthcoming three-disc album on Century MediaSongs From the North I, II & III. We’re trying to figure out how to review this album. Current thinking is to divide it among three different writers here at our site. We probably need to think more.

Anyway, this song is “Heartstrings Shattering” and features guest vocals by Aleah (Trees of Eternity) The title is well-chosen.

Jul 232015

Kataklysm-Belphegor tour

 

Just a few quick notes in here about three new North American tours that were announced within the last week. Two of the headlining bands — Kataklysm and The Black Dahlia Murder — also premiered new songs yesterday, so I’ve included a stream of them below as well.

KATAKLYSM / BELPHEGOR

This is an interesting mix of co-headliners — Canada’s Kataklysm (whose new album Of Ghosts and Gods was given an initial assessment by Andy Synn for us here) and Austria’s Belphegor (whose most recent album was 2014’s Conjuring the Dead). The complete schedule is below, but first, a video…

Aug 112014

 

(Guest writer Ty Lowery has assembled a personal list of favorite metal album covers for 2014 to date, divided into two parts. Please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments.)

Sometime last year, I had planned to showcase some of my favorite album covers. However, as you might imagine, that didn’t happen. So, a bit over halfway through 2014 already, I’ve decided to give it a go again so I don’t have to worry with trying to find everything last minute and become overwhelmed at year-end. I’ve been looking back at some of my favorite album covers, as well as looking at random covers here and there, and I must say, I’ve found a lot more than I expected- so many that I think it’s be best to break this up into a couple of posts.

I’ve actually happened upon some really cool bands this way, too, which isn’t out of the ordinary but worth noting nonetheless. Had it not been for their album art, I might never have found some of the following bands, one of which I simply can’t get enough of. However, to be clear, I’ve done this exercise for the sole purpose of rounding up the nicest looking album art, according to my own tastes. There are a couple of bands in here whose music I can’t stand, and a couple more I’d never heard of before. So to avoid any confusion, I am not necessarily recommending all of the albums featured below. They all just chose wisely for their album art.

Since I began working on this article, I noticed something peculiar: A good number of the album covers correlated in one sense or another with the music on the album. To make sure that I wasn’t just imagining this, I asked my wife (who’s not very big on metal music as a whole) and a friend of mine (who is) to look at the album art and give me their impressions. Some of them were spot-on, others not so much. Here’s what we came up with for the first nine. (Another note, these are in no particular order. They are just listed as I came upon them.)

BelphegorConjuring the Dead

This might be one of the best “photo realistic” album covers I’ve seen so far this year. It’s got the dark, gritty feel washing over it in shoals. The symbolism on the cover speaks of blasphemy, a great deal of death, and more than a smidge of Satanic interplay. When my wife Heather saw it, she immediately guessed that it was death metal, which is a good part of the album, so I’ll give it to her. My friend Adam said the same thing: “This had better be death metal.” Heather also hit the nail on the head about the dark/demonic themes that run throughout many of the songs. That’s a point for the correlation theory, although an easy one.

Jul 312014

 

Well, well, here’s some just-announced tour news that gave me a thrill: This fall Belphegor will be headlining the Voices From the Dark 2014 tour in North America and will be accompanied by Rotting Christ (Greece), Beheaded (Malta), and Svart Crown (France). That is one insanely solid line-up.

The schedule is after the jump… and that’s all I have to say about this.

Jul 172014

(Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming 10th album by Austria’s Belphegor.)

Both criticised and praised (often in the same breath) for their focussed commitment to blackened sonic savagery over the years, it’s probably not unfair to say that Belphegor have had their sound established for a while, and that a number of their albums were – if not interchangeable – at least very closely related to one another.

And please don’t read that more harshly than it’s intended. I love Belphegor, and for many years their sound was one that didn’t need to change, aside from the occasional tweak here and there. It was pure extremity and blackened blasphemous brutality, no frills, no fat, no filler – just album after album of lean, mean, killing machine music.

But change is inevitable it seems, and three and a half years after the release of the ravenous Blood Magick Necromance, the Austrian sadists have returned with their new album Conjuring The Dead, which on the one hand demonstrates a noticeable shift in approach, and yet on the other still feels altogether too familiar…

Jun 252014

Belphegor’s new album Conjuring the Dead is set for release by Nuclear Blast on August 5 in North America (August 8 in the EU/Brazil, August 11 in the UK and France). It was recorded at Mana Studios in Florida with Eric Rutan. Within the last hour the band debuted a lyric video for the album’s first track, “Gasmask Terror”.

You can watch it right here…

May 072014

Here’s the second of today’s planned round-ups of new and noteworthy music and informational items that your fiends at NCS have selectively sifted from the slurry of the interhole for your enjoyment and edification.

BELPHEGOR

It seems to be “Seth Siro Anton” day at NCS. First we helped premiere a new song from his band Septicflesh, and now we have the unveiling of his very recognizable artwork for Conjuring the Dead — the forthcoming 10th studio album by Belphegor. The album was recorded at Mana Studios with Hate Eternal’s Eric Rutan. It’s due for release by Nuclear Blast on August 8 in North America and the EU and on August 11 in the UK and France.

More than three years have passed since Blood Magick Necromance, and so we’re pretty damned hungry for some new Belphegor here at NCS. We’re ready to be fed! As soon as we have music to play for you, you can be sure we’ll do that without delay. To keep tabs on Belphegor, their FB page is at this place.

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