Belphegor- Conjuring The Dead Review
By: DJ Blackmoon
Belphegor’s tenth studio album, Conjuring The Dead, is a very dark and haunting blackened death metal masterpiece, and the epitome of what this style should sound like.
The guitar work is one of my favorite elements of this album. This performance brings catchy and melodic tremolo based riffs, tearing from the page of classic black metal. The rhythms presented here are relentless, crushing, as well as entertaining. The guitar tone could be better, but it's made up for in riffs and great writing, with complex shredding solos that are performed well and fit within the context of the songs. The drums have a great tone, and have just the right amount of fills with complexity and accuracy. The sound is very heavy and increases intensity. Sometimes the drum parts are slightly too simple, but always performed with furiousness and feeling. The audible bass parts jump out with gritty contrast. Another element that really stands out is the sheer power created with atmosphere. There is just the right amount of orchestration used in just the right way. This gives further contrast to Conjuring The Dead, and gives an even darker twist on an already dark album. The instrumental passages really make this album, and make it frightful. My second favorite aspect of this album is the vocals. The delivery is very powerful, with full and demonic lows, as well as evil and piercing, screeching highs. With each screamed line, this album stands by its title and could truly conjure the dead. The lyrical content within each line however, is standard Belphegor material and not very deep, but is evil and delivered as such nonetheless. Production on Conjuring The Dead is good, though the guitars are a little unclear at times. The big vocal parts could be made a little bigger with a more terrifying amount of echo. These parts started to be scary, but the point could be driven home by increasing these production elements. As far as the album art is concerned, it is certainly not the best cover of the year, but par for the course when it comes to Belphegor album covers. The album flows very nicely with a solid progression from song to song throughout, and at just under 40 minutes, it says what it needs to say and ends.
This is a very enjoyable album, and at the very least, is just as good as previous Belphegor releases. In 2014, this kind of dark and torturous presentation is just what metal needs, and in case the scene has forgotten since Behemoth’s The Satanist, released earlier this year… This is real and uncompromising, violent and blasphemous, blackened death metal.