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If I had a pound for every time I came across the subject of Lucifer in any band's lyrics, song titles or album titles, I could probably be rich enough to pay off my tuition fees. Of course, it's unsurprising just how much Lucifer is referred to in Metal, and more specifically, within blackened death metal (or if you prefer, black metal and death metal). The front cover of Belphegor's fourth album displays six naked women, kneeling down (aptly to Groin level!) in front of what is probably a depiction of Lucifer himself, who seems to be having a lot of fun. So, no prizes to anyone who wildly guess what 'Lucifer Incestus' is all about.
If your wild guess is unholy sodomy, blasphemous torture and the most wicked and vile of sins, you are correct. Anyone who so much as reads the lyrics of any song on 'Lucifer...' will automatically know that Belphegor love to write songs about rape and sexual torture. Helmuth pulls no punches in speaking of “Brute Impalement-by rotten cocks” ('Diaboli Virtus in Lumbar est'), “perform Fellatio-Religious fucked up Bitch” ('Demonic Staccato Erection') and “Cock of Flame-buttfuck me-rip me in half” ('The Sin-Hellfucked'). Need I say more?
Naturally, there will be those who don't even read the lyrics and merely focus on the music itself, and with 'Lucifer Incestus', everything has been improved upon since the band's last album, 'Necrodaemon Terrorsathan'. The production is much cleaner, giving way to the extremely fast and brutal guitar work of Helmuth and Sigurd, the automatic machine gun fire of Torturer's drums, and the throat-ripping vocals of Helmuth himself. In fact, Helmuth now seems to have a much wider vocal ranger than on the band's first few albums, showing that he can scream, hurl or growl his way through each of 'Lucifer...'s songs. Sure, the bass is rarely audible, and the blastbeats are nothing new at all, but with uncompromising brutality and terrifically eye-opening intensity, Belphegor have made this album to the best of their abilities.
What is particularly noticeable about the music however, is that both Helmuth and Sigurd's guitars sync so well with each other, that they never actually leave each other's side. They are like the Batman and Robin of blackened death metal (not the best of my comparisons, but I feel it fits). Every song, most notably on the scything 'The Goatchrist' and ultimately melancholic closer 'Fleshrequiem 69/Outro' (notice the significance of '69' in the title...), is fully supported by the most violent and mischievous of riffs, not to mention the number of solos that could pop up anywhere uninvited and not seem unwanted. There is also variation regarding the tempo of the guitars too. Even though the majority of 'Lucifer...' is driven by razor sharp riffs and and ultra fast guitar work, the almost slow moving, hellish harmony of closer 'Fleshrequiem 69/Outro' and extremely tense 'Fukk the Blood of Christ' (Oh those Austrians, spelling 'Fuck' wrong on purpose...) makes for an interesting albeit sinister listen, even if it puts some off altogether.
Strangely enough however, listeners may or may not find fault with 'Lucifer...' for the same reasons that occurred on 'Necrodaemon Terrorsathan'. The guitar work, as mentioned before, keeps this album from being a complete disaster (of which it is almost the opposite!), although the same old structure always seems to crop up on every song. Belphegor aren't an experimental band in any case, so you may or may not even listen to 'Lucifer Incestus', depending on what your views of blackened death metal are. If I could find any particular fault with 'Lucifer...', it is most definitely the annoyingly long intros found within the ode to religious war that is 'Paradise regained' , and sadistically sexual 'The Sin-Hellfucked' made me personally want to hover my finger over the 'skip' button. This is a common flaw found within most of the band's longest songs if I'm honest, but some may put that down to the excessive black metal influences recurring within the band's material.
All in all, 'Lucifer Incestus' shows a vast improvement of the croaky vocals and sometimes muddy production of its predecessor, but at the same time retaining that important aspect of their music, which stops 'Lucifer...' from becoming a total bore: Their unwillingness to slow their sound down and let up on their offensively written lyrical content.