LORD BELIAL

"Revelation: The 7th Seal" (Regain; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

"Revelation: The 7th Seal" is the seventh album by Swedish clan Lord Belial, who were originally formed in 1992. "Revelation" provides the listener a multitude of raspy, bleak, mid-tempo black metal mayhem to chew on. 

From the murky stomping groove of “Black Wings of Death” to the soaring guitar solos sandwiched between the crunchy riffs of “Aghast,” this band’s refined venomous assault demonstrates a veteran band that knows how to make an impact without going overboard. "Revelation" maintains a chilling aura throughout while touching upon black, melodic death, and even some Nordic rhythmic patterns for maximum metal enjoyment. 

For more information, check out www.lordbelial.com

"The Seal of Belial" (Candlelight; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

The Swedish death/black metal troupe Lord Belial return with another affair produced by Andy LaRoque (King Diamond) -- the eight-track "The Seal of Belial." 

Crushing mid-tempo tracks such as "Sons of Belial" hearken back to the chaos of the early years of black metal, while the majestic yet sinister "Abysmal Hate" provides all of the essential bile that a band as ominous as Lord Belial can muster. 

Brooding and ceremoniously foreboding, tracks like "Mark of the Beast" pay homage to the black/death metal forefathers by crafting their brand of blasphemy within the same demonic templates without shamelessly ripping off their legacies.

For more information, check out www.lordbelial.com

"Unholy Crusade" (Metal Blade/No Fashion/House of Kicks; 2000)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Lord Belial play raging Satanic black metal; unfortunately, the technical aspects of "Unholy Crusade" far outweigh any kind of image that it is supposed to project.

The first time I heard Lord Belial was when I reviewed the "Blackend III" black metal compilation. At the time I'd basically written that Lord Belial were overproduced and that there was too much going on in the music. Over the last few months I've come to appreciate what separates Lord Belial from other black metal bands and my opinion of the band has changed, only slightly, to something bordering on respect although I don't find myself liking the band any differently.

"Unholy Crusade" generally strikes me as shallow, but it does have a few redeeming qualities. The inclusion of flute, cello, and female vocals saves this disc from being less than two stars. Some of the disc is simply erratic; the musical passages are needlessly swollen and the songs lurch aimlessly from one riff to another. Slower songs truly allow Lord Belial to demonstrate their collective musical skills and sense of dynamics. "Lord Of Evil Spirits" has some interesting dynamics that you might expect from great black metal bands. "Death Is The Gate" and "Divide Et Impera" are exceedingly long at ten minutes each, but  feature the band's best efforts in sustained drama and impact with sections that approach the kind of greatness that Dimmu Borgir have achieved. 

The weight of the band's own anti-sacrosanct views doom this disc from the start. The lyrics ramble on and on about the destruction of God's angels and other similar ilk. Enough already. It's taken me a full year to appreciate the technical skills of black metal bands, but about ten minutes to tire of the incessantly stupid lyrics. To prove my point: "we baptized his last angel in his own blood/his wings withered/his white cloak became red/he cried in sorrow, vain, and despair/we liked to hear him scream." Give me a break. Any lyric sheet punctuated with plentiful exclamation points is certain to be wrought with trouble.  The vocals are typical run-of-the-mill black metal raspy; however, the vocals are buried in the mix. In the grand scheme of things this can be considered a welcome feature. Only "Lord Of Spirits" has any worthwhile vocals where the vitriolic words actually seem to spring forth from pure hate.

With "Unholy Crusade" there's nothing particularly memorable, but I still think Lord Belial's daring  use of flute and cello is a nice touch. I still can't figure out what Lord Belial were aiming for when making this record, however. 

There are no production credits; therefore, any measure of neglect should be placed on the band. 

Lord Belial is Dark on guitar and vocals, Vassago on guitars, Bloodlord on bass, and Sin on drums. Session musicians include Marielle Andersson (vocals), Annelie Jacobsson (flute), and Jelena Almvide (cello). 

For more information, check out www.lordbelial.com

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 © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Feb 2017 13:05:52 -0500 .