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Austria's Belphegor is one of those bands that try to mix elements of death , black and thrash metal together, creating some sort of weird hybrid, that sounds like many, but is really none of them. Many such bands that appeared in the mid 90s and more recently, in the 00s'. While such bands (i.e. Insignium) can be fun at times, most are uninspiring and boring. About every second band promotes itself on myspace, lastfm or any other worthless Internet profile crap. The lack of status claim is only matched by their lack of originality and substance. Belphegor, on the other hand, have spawned a brainchild out of their overall weak other releases and who would of thought, that Pestapokalypse VI (I suppose six because it's their sixth release) would become a... yes a great album actually.
This recording is the best example of the fact, that if you try hard enough to do the job done, you can actually manage to do so. Belphegor have been floating around quite a while now and their previous releases suck to such an extent that it hurts. Overproduction, boredom, and cheese are the first three things that come to mind after listening to 2003's "Lucifer Incestus" and the first two albums. "Pestapokalypse VI", however manages to sound devastating, with a non-nerve-shattering experience most overproduced albums of the extreme metal scene present. Its execution is very straightforward and honest, without any filler rubbish or bland moments. Although its style can be very generic at times, it stays as before mentioned true to the genre. The overall atmosphere is very blasphemous, with a load of ambient noises such as church bells ringing, chanting and other elements that add to the dark ambiance. This is [i]not[/i], however, by any means a limp album. The drumming tempo is fast to very fast, executed exceptionally and assaulting the listener's ears with furious blastbeats and precise musicianship. The single guitar themes and melodies are catchy and the overall riffage is far from perfect, but still well done. With a guitar tone that could could rip through thick wood and raspy vocals that scare children, this album puts an evil grin on your face and once you've tasted blood you'll be finding yourself listening to this decent piece of work repeatedly. But jokes aside, the vocalists actually did a great job on this one. Although accompanied by various effects in their voices, they sound authentic and that's the most important point.
To sum it up; this was an unexpected surprise and I would of never got to listen to it, were it not for a friend who recommended this a couple of years back. Finally being able to listen to it, I wasn't disappointed and for once, I WASN'T bumming around in my room, screaming that I want my time back. If you like modern death/thrash/whatever and don't mind the mix, have a look at this album, but stay away from most of their other stuff. For all you devil worshippers out there, "Pestapokalypse VI" is the sugar candy for you!
My picks are: "Sein Todt In Schwartz", "Angel Of Retribution" and "Chants For The Devil 1533"