Blood Magic and Necromancy at it’s best! Belphegor people! \m/

Blood Magick Necromance has got to be one of the finest works I’ve heard coming from the entire black metal brutality/ambience category this year. I never rated Belphegor in my top bands no matter what they released. I never went beyond “It’s ok” whenever asked for an opinion. But man have they impressed me with this album.

Black metal the way it should be with hints of a baseline melody dressed in blast beats and aural orchestration, Blood Magick Necromance is just the kind of album you should listen and bow down to. The first track is a breath of fresh air (well not literally but you get the point), blast beats already setting in that backdrop of carnage. This track’s intro itself got me rethinking my prejudice against this band.

Subsequent tracks are only substantiation to this prognostication of mine. Well produced, layered and crafted with the experience and know-how, the album is just plain awesome. Rise to Fall and Fall to Rise and Sado Messiah would be my favourites with most of the other tracks not far behind. Why the hell could this skill not be reflected in their earlier productions? They have portrayed the potency that could easily get them the recognition that they lacked. (or maybe they didn’t, either way this is the better of productions till now)

A minute or two into the Rise to Fall…  and you would realise exactly how well-crafted this track is. Layers or typical Belphegor-esque riffs meshed with rhythmic powerful beats make up most of this album. I sit in awe thinking about how these guys managed to pull this album off so well with what I felt are minor changes to their soundscapes. What I do notice halfway through Angeli Mortis De Profundis is this is not one of those album with solid album selling tracks and otherwise trashy mixes and productions filling the spaces. No fucking way! Impaled Upon the Tongue of Sathan got me back on my feet, raw blackened energy splitting my speakers in two.

One more aspect that I love about this album is the way it has successfully blended true forms of both black and death, with all the brutality and iniquity and yet have these pieces of mellow pieces. However odd it may sound, the melodic opuses weave the tracks magnificently, taking this entire experience to a higher more potent state of beguilement. Considering the big names these guys compete against ( Behemoth, Necrophobic,Gorgoroth), they’ve set quite a bar. And one that challenges the current trends followed by these bands as well as upcoming black metallers (European and Indian alike).

This album has been on a loop in my library for the past week, while the much raved about “Consider This” and a brand new find “Mahayuga” have been sitting idle. Belphegor finally got their place in my playlist. I could only recommend this album strongly. GET IT!

I can’t think of one negation for this album and yet my ego refuses a straight ten.

8.5/10 ought to keep the masses happy.

Cheers!

 

Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra [2010]

The album I’ve been anticipating for a long time, yearning for it even more after listening to Gateways (which was released earlier as a single from Abrahadabra), this album has delivered. And how!

Black/Doom Metal has been redefined with Abrahadabra. This album is nothing like “In Sorte Diaboli”. While that album has good influences of old school death metal infused with the distinctive Dimmu Borgir, this album inclines more towards the doom aspect with death incorporated in bits. The use of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra( Kringkastingsorkestret) along with Schola Cantorum (Norwegian Choir) was surprising yet the best thing they could’ve done. It gives Dimmu Borgir an entirely new genre – \m/!

It starts with Xibir creating this whole atmosphere of doom/apocalypse. A very thematic and symphonic essence is displayed by the music. The backing orchestra has been used to its full extent, Violins and Chellos merging with Snares and riffs and creating this aura of supreme authority, something out of a much darker and malefic Morgoth (LOTR reference here :D). It starts with two really powerful tracks Born Treacherous and Gateway (I’ve reviewed Gateways here @ Gateways Review). Powerful and imposing sound dominates the entire album with Shargath’s vocals gelling with the music. Drums, done by Daray, sound awesome with the entire structure coming out from the keys (done by Shargath again). Chess with the Abyss brings out the old Dimmu, “Sorgens Kammer Del” 2 sorts. It is awesome nonetheless with kickass choruses and percussions. I won’t describe the rest of the tracks and spoil the fun. Keep in mind that this is one epic album which would keep you on your feet and head banging for the entire 60 odd minutes.

This edition of the album also features an only Orchestral version of Gateways. I have always been a big fan orchestras as such but wow. It isn’t as impressive as some of the performances I’ve heard or viewed, but incorporating and successfully bringing out the “black metal” of the song really impressed me. The beginning would get your blood boiling, if only they had kept the vocals too (those of Shargath’s and Agnete Kjølsrud’s) it would have been my favourite of the lot and a legend.

ICS Vortex is missed though. His clean vocals would’ve done only better for the album. Apart from that I can’t think of anything that might have gone wrong with this album. It’s a keeper. Buy the CD. Definitely.

Ratings – 8.5/10.

In the Constellation of the Black Widow [2009]

 

A band I stumbled upon while casually switching between forums on ultimatemetalforums.com, I am glad I bothered downloading that particular album which was under discussion. For a band hailing from UK, the music they’ve produced is nothing like I’ve heard before. Self-proclaimed as being a black metal band, it is an awesome change from that stereotyped genre. Uniquely bloodthirsty is the phrase that comes to my mind whenever “In the Constellation of the Black Widow” starts to play on my media player.

A two member band, they’ve not let that come into their way of producing quality brutal black metal. The first track (title track) is just a preface to the onslaught that proceeds throughout the rest of the album. The entire album is worth it, getting shitfaced and then head banging till the neck actually starts cursing and the world is a blur.

Vocals consist of both shrieks and guttural screeches to clean archaic wails (eerie). V.I.T.R.I.O.L (Vocals, did an awesome job with Benediction too) outdid himself with the variety he has displayed in this album. I’m not a big fan of bree as such but it suited the mood of the album as such, especially since it wasn’t accompanied by the off sounding snares which is common to most grindcore bands. Percussions were pretty neat, not fuck-this-is-the-shit awesome but immaculate enough for this album and its sound.  Pinches and highly creative patches have been created by Irrumator (Mike Kenney, only band that I have heard of that he has worked with is “Fukpig”) on most of the tracks. And I must say after this album I am in half mind to try Fukpig too 😀

V.I.T.R.I.O.L  stated that

The album will feature a curve ball guest appearance from Zeitgeist Memento of Mexican extremists Republika.

Exactly what this is about I haven’t a clue. Since I have learnt that Annal Nathrakh do not publish their lyrics per say, queer as that might be their music sounds very misanthropic and has that apocalyptic tone to it. But straight out, a fan of Behemoth, Napalm Death or Ihsahn would go fucking insane listening to these guys.

The only flaw I found was the monotony in the entire album, very similar sounding music which couldn’t display the versatility of the band. Other reviews I’ve read state the very opposite, but to me they could’ve done better than this. I’m not saying to go all out like Opeth with acoustics and thrash riffs in the same album (how the fuck do they do that?) but some variation. It was almost like a gapless album which sucks if it is not meant to be one.

Terror in the Mind of God had a pleasant change in the second half of the track. Apart from that song The Unbearable Filth of the Soul and the Lucifer Effect are my favourite tracks from the album. The Tracklist is:

  1. In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
  2. I Am The Wrath Of Gods And The Desolation Of The Earth Music
  3. More Of Fire Than Blood
  4. The Unbearable Filth Of The Soul
  5. Terror In The Mind Of God
  6. So Be It
  7. The Lucifer Effect
  8. Oil Upon The Sores Of Lepers
  9. Satanarchist
  10. Blood Eagles Carved On The Backs Of Innocents

Rating- 7.5/10

Gateways (Single) 2010

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Expectations run high from the latest album by Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra. The first single “Gateways” was released midway through September and already it is an instantaneous hit amongst all fans of Dimmu and those of black, in general.

It opens with a growing (in pitch) baritone-and-soprano-merged-into-one like voice which suddenly blends into double bass and heavy orchestral backing done by Shagrath and Storaas.  The sound is very much expected of Dimmu, do not mistake this with typical, for this track is a very big and welcomed change from the music of “In Sorte Diaboli” released way back in 2007. In this track Shagrath is assisted by  Agnete Kjølsrud (Djerv) who does an amazing job. This I had to look up for I was pretty sure it was a bunch of kids screaming on top of their voices. The last verse specially gives the listener the goosebumps.

The overall tone of the track is a fast paced fight, a dire warning and a message about who is The Master. The chorus goes:

Be the broke or the breaker
Be the giver or the undertaker
Unlock and open the door
Be the healer or the breaker
The keys are in your hands
Realize you are the source of all creation
Of your own master plan

The music creates an atmosphere of impending doom, helped a lot by the effects on the keys. Percussions are bang on perfect for the whole scenario, especially after a chorus of “FOREVER MORE!!”

This song has raised the bar considerably and hopefully the album would be just as savage!

(Due out today all over Europe, hopefully I’ll get it soon, Wait for its review!)