"Bondage Goat Zombie" (Nuclear Blast; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

There's no mistaking the style of music veteran metal clan Belphegor plays, judging by song titles like "The Sukkubus Lustrate" or "Sexdictator Lucifer," as this menacing squad's latest nine-track endeavor is shrouded in Satanic imagery. 

"Bondage Goat Zombie" is this Austrian unit's latest attempt to scare the wits out of the listener, as it straddles the line between chilling doom and warmongering, blackened death metal throughout its 40-minute running time. 

Truly embodying the virtues of evil while equipped with a veritable onslaught of eerie vocals and crushing riffs found on cuts like "Stigma Diabolicum" and the slow-crawling torture scene made from "Der Rutenmarsch," this disc illuminates the horrors from the depths of the abyss and below. 

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"Blutsabbath" (WW III / Mercenary Musik / Last Episode)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Belphegor, Austria's masters of death metal with aggressive early-era black metal influences, shows that they have not changed too much on "Blutsabbath." Originally released in 1997, "Blutsabbath" got its proper North American release in 2001 and does not differ greatly from 1995's "The Last Supper."

"Blutsabbath" is a relentless death/black attack. Did you expect anything different? I certainly didn't. While it is difficult to distinguish one track from another upon first listen, each song's uniqueness is revealed slowly but surely over repeated listens. While that is not my preferred method of appreciating a band, it's the only way that I can make sense of something as harsh as "Blutsabbath." It appears that a lot of thought and planning went into the nine tracks contained on "Blutsabbath." Well, at least more planning and thought than the average death, black, or death/black band that I've heard in recent memory. Rather than the overwhelming tidal wave blasting sounds of "The Last Supper," "Blutsabbath" thrashes back and forth like a thunderstorm. 

Belphegor haven't yielded one bit on their anti-Christian sentiments - the lyrics leave no doubt about that. The latest imagery is just as foreboding; a half naked woman drenched in blood barely lit by torches in the black night and surrounded by rams' skulls gives Belphegor a stark and disturbing image to go along with their music.

Belphegor have played shows with other top-notch acts like Morbid Angel, Marduk, Asphyx, Behemoth, Immortal, Angel Corpse, and Sodom. After listening to "Blutsabbath" it's not hard to imagine Belphegor holding their own against these legends.

"Blutsabbath" is another finely executed death metal album that remarkably stands apart from run-of-the-mill death metal bands. However, Belphegor's "Blutsabbath" will end up in my pile of CDs - populated by the likes of Incantation, Abscess, Amduscias, and Anteaus - which means it is unlikely to be heard by me except once-in-a-blue-moon.

Belphegor is Helmuth on vocals and guitar, Sigurd on guitar, Marius on bass, and a drummer who was not identified.

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"The Last Supper" (WW III / Mercenary Musik / Last Episode)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Supposedly a classic, Belphegor's "The Last Supper" is a maelstrom of chaotic death metal with a hint of early-era aggressive black metal influences. "The Last Supper" was originally released in Europe in 1995 on Lethal Records, but never got the proper release in North America until 2001 when World War III got their grimy hands on it. Additionally, this World War III release of "The Last Supper" has six cuts from the rare Belphegor EP "Obscure And Deep."

The vocals are screamed and grunted in the every way possible. For the casual listener the vocals on "The Last Supper" wouldn't seem all that out of place on a Cannibal Corpse CD except when the vocals switch gears into a black metal rasp.

The blast beats are aren't as rapid as one might expect, but they are plentiful and ravaging. The band calls themselves as 'cruel blasphemic hyperblast aggression.' I'm inclined to agree only if it will avoid having the band hunt me down and drag me through a pool of their own excrement. The black metal influences are certainly raw and aggressive; personally I favor the more symphonic black metal and that is in little evidence on "The Last Supper."

Lyrically there is no mistaking what the band is all about - eliminating Christianity. The Satanic angle is tiresome as always, but Belphegor probably believe every word they're screaming. Belphegor certainly don't lack anything in the confidence department either.

A crushing version of Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is included.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with "The Last Supper" even though it didn't really impress me from a standpoint of being unique or otherwise intriguing in any other way, but it is well executed. It certainly didn't stir up any emotions and I will find it difficult to return this CD to my player at any time despite its technical prowess.

Finally, credit must be given where credit is due; I may not always like what World War III has to offer, but they're doing a fine job unearthing underground CDs that would appeal to discriminating metal fans in North America. Unearthing this 'classic' from these Austrian hate mongers is evidence enough of that devotion.

Belphegor is Helmuth on vocals and guitar, Sigurd on guitar, Marius on bass, and way too many drummers to keep track of.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400 .