Belphegor - Blood Magick Necromance
Nuclear Blast
Blackened Death Metal
8 songs (40:42)
Release year: 2011
Belphegor, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat

Pervy Austrian duo Belphegor are as much an institution as a band, releasing albums more or less every year to varying levels of acclaim. By now, its fans know who they are, but if you’re not there’s still time to clamber aboard the bandwagon, for full-length number nine is more than worth the effort. In some ways it’s a throwback to Pestapocalypse VI’s atmospheric sturm und dirge, even going so far as making the opening In Blood – Devour This Sanctity an Eastern-flavoured churner a la Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador. As a whole, this album seems better-written than previous efforts, which were prey to sounding rather repetitive as the band’s ever-small box of tricks ran ever lower. Songs are at least mixed up a little here, as intense pounders like Rise To Fall And Fall To Rise placed alongside the blastbeat-hued title track – both are enormously epic, in enjoyably different ways. And, as a whole, the album flows well, sounds good, keeps your interest, and even finds room for the odd bit of widdly soloing, such as on the orchestral-enhanced Discipline Through Punishment.

It’s the kind of listen that rewards repeated listens without actually getting better, if that makes sense. Songs are just complex enough to have a flavour which improves with age, yet you’re always fully aware of what they do, you can foresee each twist and turn. Take Impaled Upon The Tongue Of Sathan for example (for which the band made the sort of blood-covered video that hardcore vegetarians use to convert the easily-shocked to their cause) an introduction mixing atmospheric melody with Behemothic chug soon switching towards melodeath and black metal, with a great solo topping things off. Every change is smooth and seamless, making for an enjoyable whole, yet it lacks the madness and danger of more unpredictable bands. The speedy darkness of Possessed Burning Eyes’ intro fits perfectly with the ensuing grandiose roar, and finale Sado Messiah rushes along furiously, closing the album with a bang.

All in all, this is a more than solid album. Belphegor have done nothing on Blood Magick Necromance that they haven’t done elsewhere, yet their formula is holding up well enough for it to please fans despite that. I feel like I should be harder on the band for what is either a creative rut or a rock-solid consistency, depending on whether you like them or not – harsher critics may well call them a one-trick pony, and with good reason. I’d love to see Belphegor try something different for a change; as things stand, Blood Magick Necromance is a worthy addition to a catalogue growing in quantity if remaining at the same level of quality.

Killing Songs :
In Blood – Devour This Sanctity, Rise To Fall And Fall To Rise, Impaled Upon The Tongue Of Sathan, Possessed Burning Darkness
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Belphegor that we have reviewed:
Belphegor - Goatreich - Fleshcult reviewed by Jared and quoted 85 / 100
Belphegor - Conjuring the Dead reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Belphegor - Lucifer Incestus reviewed by Tony and quoted 86 / 100
Belphegor - Pestapokalypse VI reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Belphegor - Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn reviewed by Dan and quoted 75 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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