Belphegor|Conjuring the Dead

belphegor

 It has been three long and cold years since Austria’s Belphegor has graced us with their legendary hateful sounds.  Lineup changes have interfered with Belphegore’s ability to record, but being ever resourceful, they’ve unleashed their ninth album to date on August 8th, 2014.  With Helmuth on vocals, “Conjuring the Dead”, takes on a more pronounced death metal feel than the band’s other releases.

Being a black metal elitist type, I found myself longing for the classic and frigid sounds of Blutsabbath or even the hate-filled screams of Bondage Goat Zombie, particularly in the beginning of the album.  That, however, could have been a personal preference.  “Conjuring the Dead” is solid, well produced, death metal release–a force to be reckoned with–bearing all of the ferocity of prior releases.

The album really starts to pick up around the fifth track–”Black Winged Torment”–with dissonant riffing and melodic undertones.  This trend continues to spread throughout the release like a malignant tumor, reaching a high point in the track “Lucifer, Take Her”, a particularly dramatic track, a prototypical Belphegor song, that accentuates all elements of the true Belphegor we’ve grown to love over the years. They end the album eerily, with the foreboding and slower track, “Pactum in Aeturnum”.

Overall, “Conjuring the Dead” is a solid release, even if it’s not truly representative of Belphegor’s career.  This release may get lost in the mix in comparison to the colder and more intense prior releases.  Even though “Conjuring the Dead” may not stand out as one of Belphegor’s more memorable albums, it will not disappoint fans. But listen for yourself.  Below is the official music video for Conjuring the Dead (some of the most evil shit I’ve seen in the past month).  Happy Listening.  Hails!

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Acid Witch/Nunslaughter -Spooky

spooky

Back in March of this year, Hell’s Headbangers unleashed yet another great addition to extensive, vinyl metal collections everywhere. An interesting mix of doom and classic death, the Nunslaughter and Acid Witch 7 inch split entitled “Spooky” is an off-color hymn to “stoners” everywhere.  The artwork hints at the tongue in cheek nature of the album.  Reminiscent of 1970’s Tales From the Crypt comic this album art is unique and eye catching.  The artwork, the sound, the feel of this split is definitively “gitchy” and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes it a great feel good listen, the kind of music perfect for blazing.

Acid Witch

acid witch

 Acid Witch capture the sounds of “spookiness” in the most befitting way on this 7 inch.  The opening track, Evil, begins with eerie sounding keyboards and has a sort of muted melodiousness that continues throughout the track, only to be broken up with Shagrat’s gloriously repugnant vocals and Mike Tuff’s classic riffing.  Listening to Evil is like hearing a whisper in a haunted house.  The keyboards continue throughout the track, organically giving Evil that sort of fun creepiness Rob Zombie’s is always trying to achieve.

Fiends of Old, Acid Witch’s second contribution to Spooky, veers in a different direction.  Resurrecting, the classic sounds of Acid Bath and Eyehategod, Acid Witch has managed to make Fiends of Old sound unique by adding their signature keyboard sounds to this heavier doom track.  It is perhaps, Slasher Dave’s vocals that make this track most unique with his snotty, tongue in cheek tone.  Acid Witch would do well to make their tracks a bit longer.  Doom-heads intuitively crave 15 minute long songs. Acid Witch’s three minute long tracks are a bit of a disappointment.  I must hand it to Acid Witch though, their sound is original.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcwidhyzTt4

Nunslaughter

nunslaughter logo

 Nunslaughter’s addition to “Spooky” doesn’t veer far from the brutal, irreverent death metal Nunslaughter fans have grown accustomed to.  “A Sordid Past” and “Spooky Tales” sound very similar to pretty much every song on their classic 2003 release “Goat”.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t disappointed by this.  Nunslaughter gives their fans what they’re expecting, without alienating them with heavy experimentation.  This is one band that will never “go soft” or sell out.  You get what you get with Nunslaughter.  Simple, three minute, satirically satanic death metal.  Their contribution to “Spooky” is no exception.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AKcl_9e9Kw

You can order this awesome 7 inch directly from Hell Headbangers.  Fucking do it and support underground metal!  For now though, smoke up and enjoy some killer death and doom.  Happy Listening.  Hails!

Morbidity- Revealed from Ashes

morbidity

It’s not everyday that band hailing from Bangledesh blows me away.  Recently signed to Memonto Mori Records, Morbidity has, as their debut album so eloquently pontificates, revealed themselves from ashes.  Seriously, this band came out of nowhere and punched listeners in the face with a sound so true, so Swedish before In Flames fucking ruined Sweden, that Attack Attack fans everywhere are tucking their penises and running away.

Evoking images of warfare and Hell’s firey gates, Morbidity’s debut, entitled “Revealed from Ashes”, is eerily reminiscent of early Swedish death legends like Unleashed and Grave.  Their neatly placed guitar riffs remain thrashy while carefully merging an unpolished and intense sense of melody untarnished and uninfluenced by the mainstream’s definition of “melodic”.  Defiler’s vocals are an echoing growl to nethergods, while unobnoxious blast beats spew forth naturally from the heels of Israfel.  Can you get any more metal than a name like Defiler?  Here is a band that understands the importance of having a metal image.

Morbidity doesn’t feel the need to overwhelm its fans with intricate guitar solos or ridiculously long songs, instead making every riff count.  At times the songs seemed to meld together, as though they were one 45 minute assault, but I found no real complaint with this.  This element only immersed me deeper into Morbidity’s dark world.  Tracks like “Decaying Souls” incorporated melodic and eerie interludes that broke up the the typical lightening fast riffing found throughout the album nicely.  I really enjoyed the bridges in songs like “Pits of Eternal Torment” and “Let There Be Chaos” and the track “Morbidity” is as unapologetically brutal as any track named after the band itself should be.

Overall, this album, this band, impressed me very much.  This is one of those new releases I am happy to have discovered and will revisite time and time again.  Beginning to end, “Revealed from Ashes” had me spellbound in all it’s melodic glory.  But what do I know, right.  Listen for yourself.  Happy listening! Hails!