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Belphegor - Pestapokalypse VI

Label: Nuclear Blast USA
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: The Goat

It is a shame that Belphegor titled their album "Pestapokalypse". It makes me think of how the mouse in my apartment died. It makes me think of cockroaches struggling after a full can of Raid has been emptied on them. It makes me think of the Finnish Monster Metal band Lordi's "Arockalypse" album.


None of these associations are truly black metal or death metal. Well, Lordi has the image but not the musical delivery. Belphegor is blackened death metal. It is leather bracelets with very long nails punched through. It seems to be mostly sung in German.

If you are a fan of blackened death metal, then there is truly nothing new here on "Pestapokalypse". There is some Deicide sounding riffage and bass clobbering on ‘Pest Teufel Apokalypse’. There are two slower midpaced songs ‘Angel of Retribution’ and ‘Bluhtsturm Erotika’. ‘Bluhtsturm’ does contain some faster moments. You do get a lot of blastbeats all over the place. In addition to the blastbeats, you get some whammy bar action for guitar solos. The drumming does get a little repetitive and redundant but that is the trouble with blastbeats sometimes. Belphegor are slightly more melodic than some of their contemporaries but these melodies are hidden in the blastbeats and the saw blading guitar work. As I said, there really is nothing new here.

Yet, this is hardly a bad album. While there is nothing new in Belphegor's sound and delivery, their effort at execution is first rate. What separates some bands from others, especially in a well-worn style such as death metal, is how the band maximizes and personalizes their attack. Belphegor lacks a personal touch, which leaves them in the pile with some of the others of their ilk. Where I see their potential is their efficiency and their overall song writing, it suggests that they could do better.

The problem that I have with blackened death metal is that after a while it all kind of begins to sound the same. There are few original blackened death bands out there that keep the sound fresh. Blephegor rides the cusp. Sometimes they sound like everybody else. Every so often they throw in a pummeling that makes the ol' noggin a-rockin. They definitely have potential, if they can take a step towards experimenting with their style a little more.

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