BELPHEGOR - Totenritual

November 1, 2017, 18 days ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Kelley Simms

Rating: 8.0

review black death belphegor

BELPHEGOR - Totenritual

Austrian blackened death metal horde, Belphegor, has returned with its 11th full-length release, Totenritual. From the crushing riffs and furious blast beats of the Morbid Angel,-esque opener “Baphomet,” it’s clear that Belphegor mean business. The relentless pummeling continues throughout its nine tracks, possessing loads of guttural growls, ominous chanting choruses, monstrous pinched guitar harmonics and menacing, death metal chugging riffs combined with black metal tremolo histrionics. The vicious attack of “The Devil’s Son” is topped off nicely at the end with a haunting acoustic/electro guitar outro, which adds an eerie dynamic to the track. The evilness of “Spell Of Reflection”’s incantation vocal segment is chilling, and proves to be one of the best tracks on the album. The equally captivating opening riff and marching snare drum pattern of the crushing “Embracing A Star” is also one of the highlights of the album.

The complaints about Totenritual would have to be the lack of memorable melodies or anthemic choruses. The drumming of Bloodhammer is vicious, although it sounds a little bit too triggered, especially with his double bass patterns and blast beats. However, the directness of Totenritual’s ritualistic aural assault is hammered home relentlessly with a few brief interspersed melodic interludes, which creates a safe haven before the song’s blasting brutality consumes the listener again. After the 41-minute ear rape, Totenritual will leave you gasping for air.

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