Local Wire


Think what you may, but at the very least, you can always count on black metal for its directness. You can count on it to be exactly what it is and nothing more or less. With album titles like Bondage Goat Zombie and Goatreich-Fleshcult, the Satan-worshippers of Austrian outfit Belphegor spare no effort in expressing their unyielding love for, well, worshipping Satan (and hating Christ). Songs like "Lucifer Incestus" and "Swarm of Rats," which equates Jesus with rat shit, serve as impassioned testimony to the band's sole preoccupation. For illustration, the band closes these songs with nifty sound effects like rats squealing and Lucifer growling (or is it burping?) after a round of coitus with his demonic, incest-loving concubines. And, in case you didn't get the hint, the band logo contains not one, but two upside-down crosses. Named after a demon (what else?), Belphegor plays a black-tinged brand of death metal in a crossover between the two camps that was once unthinkable but is now commonplace. For all of its somber-faced effort, Belphegor can also be a hell of a lot of fun for giggling non-Satanist listeners, which is not to say that the passion and energy in the band's blast-soaked sound doesn't stand apart from the, uh . . . goat-herding pack.
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Saby Reyes-Kulkarni