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When you hear a ton of hype from your friends and read countless good reviews about a band, it usually never fails to turn out to be a dissapointment. Belphegor's "Pestapokalypse VI" was everything I had hoped for and more.
This incredibly fast paced trio from Austria have made their mark in the realm of extreme metal, particularly in the area of blackened death. This album reflects qualities of both genres, but tends to stick with a formula somewhat unique to the band's overall sound.
For the exception of track number 7,"Bluhtsturm Erotika," every track this album either starts our or climaxes to be an extremely fast paced Hellstorm of a song. Although Nefastus produces some of the best instrumental output from this album with his drumming, he also generates one of my only complaints with it. Although a ridiculously fast bone-crushing blast beat is usually an effective tool used by a skilled drummer in most forms of extreme metal, this guy just uses them too much for my liking. Just when you think the progression may turn into a nice, calm moderately paced double kick driven beat, DUM- DUT- DO RATATATATATATATATATATAT.....return of the blast beat. This album is perfect for fans of Origin and Marduk in that regard. Don't get me wrong, Nefastus is a fantastic drummer, and compliments Belphegor's style very well, he just needs to be a bit more creative with his skill.
Aside from the repetative drumming, this album is loaded with lots of twists and suprises. After one of the strongest tracks on the release,"Sanctus Perversum," the album finishes with a fantastic intrumental that is anything but boring. I find it a shame the band didn't do more with this song than what they did, but It is still a very good way to end the album.
Helmuth does a very good job of not using mindless, unplotted riffs to make his job of playing while doing vocals easier. Nearly every guitar riff on this album is done with purpose, and leads the listener through various realms of musical discharge. His guitar playing style on this album can be compared to the likes of Behemoth and Nile with the various Middle-Eastern, sort of Arabic scales and riffs used on this album. This style presents itself the strongest on track number one, "Belphegor-Hell's Ambassador."
The vocals on this album vary from mid-ranged chest screams to sharper black metal style highs to moderately low growls. Helmuth's vocals are nothing to write home about, but they do certainly fit the music, and are appropriate for Belphegor's sound.
On the whole this album was a very enjoyable listen, and is definately recommended to fans of the band's previous work, and of blackened death metal in general.