Sometimes....just sometimes, Black Metal and Death Metal meet right in the middle and form a legendary tag team intent on kicking your teeth so far down your throat you can eat your dinner upside down....
Belphegor's Totenritual IS one of those times! You only have to look at the logo for Satan’s sake, old school death like your mama used to make, except with some lovely tremolo picking and cadaver bothering screams sprinkled over the top.
The nine burned offerings here are filled with blasphemous filth, tied together on occasion with samples that help create a musty atmosphere and make this album an actual listening experience instead of just a bunch of songs cobbled together, albums used to do that you know boys and girls, you'd sit with a lovely cup o tea and just....listen....instead of checking Friendface every two minutes.
Baphomet rips out of the gate kicking and screaming and instantly you realise that hooks are indeed possible in the realm of extreme metal. By the time Totenbeschworer kicks in (course I don't know what it means, and it's meant to have an umlaut which I can't find on my ruddy flipping iPhone) you realise that they have nailed it with the production, everything has clarity, and it doesn't do that nasty over polished modern thing either; think Scott Burns and you won't be far off.
There isn't a duff track on this and I love that it doesn't over stay its welcome, it just rolls over you like a rhino on red bull and leaves you spread eagled in a pool of sadness and grim thoughts.
For me the guitars are the real difference maker here, precise riffs and unexpectedly melodic solos soaring above the brutal drums of Bloodhammer (yes that's what his Mum christened him, I’ve checked)
Belphegor; according to ancient demonology, was one of the seven princes of hell, and was fond of helping people make (naughty) discoveries, so do yourself a favour and discover Totenritual, out now on Nuclear Blast!!