Welcome, Butcher Crew, to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! It’s me, The Saw! And have I got some real horror music – with a New Album review – for you today. Belphegor finally released their 12th studio album (after two delays), The Devils, on July 29, 2022 via Nuclear Blast. As I said in the album’s Single Reviews, I consider Belphegor a Black Metal band, while most consider them Blackened Death Metal. Belphegor considers themselves to be “diabolic Death Metal,” and the new album supports all theories!
The record weighs-in at 42 minutes, and is a horrifying rollercoaster ride of crushing Death Metal riffs, blinding atmospheric Black Metal picking and drum work, pounding bass regardless of any certain style, and wicked demonic lyrics – vocal delivery is of all sorts, from Blackened to roaring gutterals; and in some places, delivery is multiple styles at once. Beautiful!
- The Devils – the title track opens the record. Death Metal, with a wicked riff, is the form of delivery. It’s winding and spiraling movement really draws you in… and the “diabolic” lyrics and vocal style (multiple, layered voices) are blackened and, seemingly, bloodied. This is a great opening track!
- Totentanz – Dance Macabre – as The Saw mentioned in the Single Review, this track has a Black Metal delivery, with a mix of blackened and deep register gutterals. The song has an historical basis (19th century art) where a dance is enacted, with a personified Death character, killing everyone regardless of age, race, status, or opinion.
- Glorifizierung des Teufels – is a Death Metal vehicle, slower paced, with a fierce vocal delivery. Very ominous and dark, with near whispers interspersed with blackened gutterals and a chorus of voices to add more gloom. This is a very dramatic track.
- Damnation – Hollensturz – a banging Death Metal riff drives headlong into a brief interlude before the riff takes off again. Vocal delivery is a vicious gutteral, broken only by the chorus of voices again. What a riff! With blackened melodies and harmonies, and a far Eastern feel to the interludes.
- Virtus Asinaria – Prayer – this was another of the Singles ya girl reviewed; what a beautiful song! A literal, historical prayer set to haunting music that, itself, is a hook to draw you in. This one is more Black Metal than Death Metal.
- Kingdom of Cold Flesh – begins with a straight-forward metal opening before moving completely into Black Metal atmospheric picking, with a (more) gutteral vocal delivery for most of the track. An excellent, ripping solo really marks this song.
- Ritus Incendium Diabolus – another crushing, bruising Death Metal riff moves interchangeably with Black Metal fast tremolo picking and blast beats with lightening double bass, before dropping into a swaying slow groove for the chorus.
- Creature of Fire – if there is a ballad (of sorts) on this track, this is it. It’s a dark, spooky, haunting melody. As usual, chanting by the chorus, incredible female harmony, and many voices express the sense of what’s happening.
- Blackest Sabbath 1997 – is added to the end of this record. This is the third Single The Saw covered. A 25-year-old track that holds-up well over time. Mostly Black Metal, in atmosphere and vocal delivery, but with a nasty Death Metal riff which drives this banger. Guitar solos (here and everywhere) are brilliant!
The Saw will be playing tracks off The Devils in The House of Horrors (Sunday Nights at 6:00pm on overkillradio.com) – sometimes in The Place of Mourning, and sometimes in The Chopping Block. This is a SOLID album by Belphegor! I really like the flux in sound and delivery. Regardless, Belphegor carries on the horrifying cause in a brilliant diabolical way.
Rating: 9/10! Great crushing riffs, awesome atmospheric picking/drumming, and vicious vocal delivery!
Favorite Songs: The Devils, Damnation – Hollensturz, Ritus Incendium Diabolus