CONJURING THE DEAD
It’s been a soul-destroying few years for blackened death metal bruisers Belphegor. In late 2011, their leader Helmuth contracted a life-threatening lung infection and endured multiple surgeries which put the band’s touring and recording plans in limbo. After a gruelling period of extensive rehab though, he returns this month with tenth LP Conjuring The Dead and the opus proves that what doesn’t kill you, really does make you stronger. Recorded in Florida, the influence of the Sunshine State’s death metal scene can be heard on the rabid Gasmask Terror and the intense, incendiary Legions Of Destruction (which boasts Deicide’s Glen Benton and Mayhem’s Attila on guest vocals) and it’s a faster, more extreme offering compared to 2011’s Blood Magick Necromance. Bursting with blood-curdling shrieks, blasphemous lyrics, shredding guitar solos, strange chants and tritone intervals, Belphegor’s tenth opus sees the Austrian’s stitch together elements of both the European and American metal scenes, creating a new, exciting monster. Though the drum sound does let the record down in places (In Death) and there’s some filler (The Eyes), overall the band have came back fighting on Conjuring The Dead and it’s a ferocious return to form.