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Another Belphegor album. Truth be told, originality is not something these Austrian lads are expected to show, and the new album has been awaited in similar spirit as well. The press release promised a fresher, renovated sound, more epic and so on.
That never happened. Not that the album is bad, far from it – it is a thoroughly enjoyable release, with loads of catchy riffs and classic Belphegor blasphemy, but then again, one can’t expect any fan to be occupied with their album for a longer period of time anymore. Belphegor have an unquestionably unique brand of black/death metal, with brutal rhythms and melodic hooks few can combine as well as them. But this time around, it’s all been seen and heard once too many. The truth is that the technical and compositional balance and perfection of Belphegor albums, as undeniable as it is, hasn’t been changed one bit since 2005’s „Goatreich/Fleshcult”. The band’s been on Nuclear Blast ever since, and their well-established style is obviously selling albums, but I really can’t see anyone excited about a new Belphegor album in the year 2010. The content is great, but the air’s getting stale. This band needs a dash of fresh air, and needs it immediately. Otherwise, they will drown their discography in interchangeable albums, songs and riffs.
This is good material and you should absolutely give it a spin, but I really can’t say that you’ll find it intellectually and musically engaging for an extended period of time. After all, this is Bondage Goat Zombie II, nothing more, nothing less.
(originally written for http://www.metal-sound.net)