Hailing from the abysmal forests of the mystic North, Belzebubs have possessed a stealthy, cult status throughout their existence. Originally formed in 2002, the band has succeeded in creating a thrilling blend of melodic blackened death metal, guttural growls and whimsical solos, forged with progressive twists and cinematic soundscapes. Accompanied by a new drummer Samaël and a record-deal with Century Media, Belzebubs finally feels fit to take on the (under)world.
With not a lot known about this band including where they originate from apart from spawning from a comic strip, I’ll crack straight on with the album. Opener ‘Cathedrals of Mourning’ is six minutes of art. It’s peaceful intro tricks you by it’s beauty before unexpectedly attacking with awesome force as the track rears it’s ugly head, like a Mogwai that’s been doused in water. One minute beautiful, the next horrific. The name of this track is very apt, as the more peaceful sections are very cathedral-like. A stunning opening track.
‘The Faustian Alchemist’ follows the same formula as ‘Cathedrals’ although with a slightly slower pace. Keyboards are prominent here. ‘Blackened Call’ offers us a more anthemic feel and epitomises that this band are serious in what they do. The video link to ‘Cathedrals‘ above actually reminds me of Damon Albarn’s ‘Gorillaz’ in it’s animation style.
This album really comes of age as we reach ‘Acheron’. A seven and a half minute epic of power, atmosphere and emotion. It has a fade-out which quite surprised me to be honest. Belzebubs’ ability to mix Death Metal with synth and still maintain a stature of power is commendable. This is evident in ‘Nam Gloria Lucifer’. An eerie number yet it still packs enough punch to stop any depression setting in.
There is so much to each and every one of these songs on this album that it has to be taken very seriously indeed. Let’s take ‘Dark Mother’ for example. This is a stomper of a track at just over nine minutes long and has everything any Death Metal fan could wish for, I promise you. But the jewel in the crown here is ‘The Crowned Daughters’. It edges more towards Metal than Death Metal, but that just demonstrates this band’s diversity. The guitar solo work on offer is beautiful in every way, and Hubbath’s vocals are now melodic above an early Pink Floyd style groove. Lovely in every way. The perfect song in my eyes. So much scope, so much imagination.
Listen, don’t take my word for it. Go buy this album. You would seriously be fools not to.
1 – Cathedrals Of Mourning
2 – The Faustian Alchemist
3 – Blackened Call
4 – Acheron
5 – Nam Gloria Lucifer
6 – The Crowned Daughters
7 – Dark Mother
8 – The Werewolf Bride
9 – Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods
Hubbath – Vocals & bass / Sloth – Guitars & vocals / Obesyx – Lead Guitars / Samael – Drums
- £7.99 (MP3)