July 28, 2022 Belphegor – The Devils (Album Review)
Everyone has a different way to process the morbid turmoil of the last few years. Some absorb themselves deep within all the negative and then release it from within in one forceful blast. A seemingly healthy approach, Heavy Metal can also be a genuine undeniable outlet for the release of all that weighs a person down in life. Which leads us to the return of Austria’s Belphegor with their brand new studio album The Devils.
Set for release on Friday, July 29, 2022 through Nuclear Blast Records, the Blackened Death Metal band serve up a perfect purge of any inner doom and gloom. Coming nearly five years after some regular touring and the release of 2017’s Totenritual, The Devils is also appropriately titled since it features a wealth of satanic styled tunes.
A band that has been a brutal force within Black and Death Metal since the early ’90s, while the lineup has changed some over the years, still leading the way are Helmuth on guitars/leading voices along with longtime member Serpenth on bass/backing voices. The band’s twelfth studio album, The Devils features eight fully crafted songs of beautiful devilment along with a ninth special bonus track. Starting with the intense opening title track, you then are gifted the album’s equally as potent lead single “Totentanz – Dance Macabre.” Diving deeper into the darkness, you have songs like “Glorifizierung des Teufels” which is a dark tale of Witchcraft and demonic presence. There is also “Virtus Asinaria-Prayer” which is a noble, very blackened contribution to the mix with an energy that sends chills through your ears. Then moving into the blackened soul of the album you have the short, but brutally sweet “Kingdom Of Cold Flesh.”
Finalizing the journey, “Creature Of Fire” brings in a slow melodic ritualistic vibe along with a female voice that detonates a strong presence within the meaning of the album. Just as opposite of the quiet that this song ends in, the loudness of the bonus track “Blackest Sabbath 1997” begins. At six minutes long, it is re-recorded medley of “Blackest Ecstasy” and “Blutsabbath” from 1997’s Blutsabbath full of the upmost wave pool of Blackened Death Metal that everyone will enjoy.
Belphegor may be at times an underestimated entity as they cross the Black and Death metal realms in a balanced way, which makes them overlooked as one or the other. However, what stands out most for this band, much in the way Behemoth does in their own way, is their uniquely creative blend of Black and Death metal blended into something so powerful as well as positively evil. The Devils works as a whole tale from beginning to end, just as well as it can be played in a random order, and still appreciated. Thus, Belphegor continues to move in a forward direction with every new addition to their musical collection, and The Devils deserves 5 out of 5 stars.