Rating:
7.0
Belphegor - Conjuring The Dead
8 August 2014


Disc I [CD]
01. Gasmask Terror
02. Conjuring The Dead
03. In Death
04. Rex Tremendae Majestatis
05. Black Winged Torment
06. The Eyes
07. Legions Of Destruction
08. Flesh, Bones And Blood
09. Lucifer, Take Her!
10. Pactum In Aeternum

Disc II [DVD] [Limited DVD bonus]
[Making Of Conjuring The Dead]
01. Rehearsing/Bass/Drum/Guitar Tracking
02. Vokills Tracking

[Live Brutal Live Rituals]
03. Angeli Mortis De Profundis [Live In Liverpool]
04. Diaboli Virtus In Lumbar Est [Live @ Meh Suff Open Air]
05. In Blood - Devour This Sancity [Live In Moscow]
06. Feast Upon The Dead [Live @ Eindhoven Metal Meeting]
07. Bondage Goat Zombie [Live @ Party San Festival]
08. Justine Soaked In Blood [Live @ Umea Hom Festival]
09. Backstage [Rekwi Festival Germany]

[Sightseeing Cult Palaces]
10. Burg Aggstein [Austria]
11. Bone Church Kutna Hora [Czech Republic]

[Tattoo And Art Section]
+ Diashow

[Rehearsal Bunker]
12. Inside The Bunker
13. Schwarty ''Swinefever''

[Conjuring The Dead [video]
14. Official Video Clip
15. Making Of


Have you ever tried to start an epic slow-clap moment in a room full of people, hoping it'll catch on and break into some massive applause, but instead end up standing there like a total dope, beating your hands together in an otherwise totally silent crowd? That's how every Belphegor fan feels when they release something even slightly better than Walpurgis Rites...and so it continues with Conjuring The Dead.

The phrase "Belphegor is back" is difficult to say with enthusiasm anymore, which is a shame, because Conjuring The Dead is actually pretty decent. The last effort, Blood Magick Necromance was definitely the first step towards recovery, but it didn't have that Belphegor feel. It was a straight-up black metal album; not totally unlistenable, just an incongruous piece of their discography. Conjuring The Dead, on the other hand, is definitely a return to their true form; furious black metal with the right amount of crunch and growl, giving it the death metal overtones. Mix in some palpable, cold ambiance floating underneath the savagery and you've got the true Belphegor sound. Ultimately, this feels like a weaker version of what was arguably their best album, Goatreich-Fleshcult.

As far as the evolution of Belphegor's sound goes, there's good news and bad news. Unfortunately, Helmuth's vocals are sounding a little over the hill. Love 'em or hate 'em, Belphegor generally had a fantastic delivery on both sides of the extreme metal fence, frequently mixed together to make a deliciously evil sound. The band's hiatus didn't do any favors to the frontman's voice; the death metal vocals are now sloppy, and the black metal vocals strained. The good news? There's an appreciation for ambiance that has been absent from their music for close to a decade. It's a welcome return; the more pronounced acoustic interludes and ambient sound sampling are starting to bring back an actual feel, rather than merely the collection of extreme metal riffs and dumb lyrics the last few albums were comprised of.

It's a tough album to wrap your head around - one part of you will hate it based on its predictability, the other will be satisfied the band is starting to approach a complete return to form, consistency and quality. Conjuring The Dead will be appreciated by long-time Belphegor fans just waiting for an album that doesn't suck. New-comers, however, should put this off until they've given a listen to their 2003-2006 era.


Band profile: Belphegor
Album: Conjuring The Dead


 



Written on 27.07.2014 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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Lit. - 27.07.2014 at 22:58  
So, the usual crap, then?
Doc Godin - 27.07.2014 at 23:52  
Written by Lit. on 27.07.2014 at 22:58

So, the usual crap, then?

Well, if you didn't like Belphegor before...then yeah, pretty much.
BitterCOld - 28.07.2014 at 07:11  
Well done, glad to have you back on the warpath. and kudos for "incongruous."

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