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Pestapokalypse VI

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Album Review

Along with raging against the Catholic Church and promoting the apocalypse in the name of their ol' buddy Satan, Austria's Belphegor have always prided themselves on delivering the most brutal, lightning-fast combination of death and black metal imaginable — over and over again, album after album. 2006's Pestapokalypse VI is yet another example of this enterprise; opening with a track that's helpfully entitled "Belphegor — Hell's Ambassador," before unleashing a veritable deluge of similarly frenzied sonic typhoons. These invariably contain eye-popping displays of high-velocity musicianship set to suspiciously machine-like percussion, and, at their best (check out the standout pair of "Seyn Todt in Schwartz," "Pest Teufel Apokalypse"), challenge Belphegor's better-known contemporaries, such as Poland's Behemoth and Brazil's Krisiun, for tee-total speed-freak supremacy. Thankfully, slower-creeping numbers like "Angel of Retribution" and "Bluhtsturm Erotika" do crop up on occasion to offer infrequent, but much needed respites from the disc's otherwise incessant barrage of metronome-melting rampages — but is it enough? Believe it or not, even hardened death and black metal fans feel the need to come up for air every once in a while, and, since we're talking among friends here: what's the point of enriching Pestapokalypse's "greater concept" by quoting the Marquis de Sade, Goethe, or even the Devil himself (in French, German, and Latin, no less), when all that comes across is unintelligible grunted gibberish? Hey, at least Nile goes for broke and writes its grunts in ancient Egyptian — which is unintelligible gibberish no matter how you slice it! The bottom line is that, yes, Belphegor are comfortable in their niche and execute it better than most, but unless they broaden their gimmicks at some point, their albums are going to become impossible to tell apart.

Biography

Formed: Salzburg, Austria

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Formed by guitarist/screamer Helmuth in 1990, Austrian death/black metal band Belphegor quickly made inroads in their homeland, but had to wait nearly a decade before their efforts crossed borders and were released internationally. Also featuring guitarist Sigurd, bassist Marius, and a revolving drum stool policy, the band's overtly satanic, European-style black metal isn't exactly groundbreaking but very competently executed nonetheless. Following a set of demos circulated in the obligatory CD-trading...
Full Bio
Pestapokalypse VI, Belphegor
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