Belphegor

Pestapokalypse IV

Pestapokalypse IV


Reviewed By Daniel Hedger
Published 11/12/2006

More of the same from these brutal Austrians

Sometimes I understand why people like grindcore so much. It combines the bruality of death metal and some of the ridiculousness of black metal and injects it into the punk tradition, making songs short and sweet. I heard someone say the other day, "I don't mind long songs, but I can't stand long metal songs". This is something that happens with black metal and death metal bands at times. They think their riffs are so brilliant they should be played a million times in one song; and they think their songwriting is so great they should have a billion riffs per song. So each track ends up going for approximately one hundred trillion hours. And I don't have that much time.

This might seem off the topic of Belphegor's new album, but really it's not because it's gotten me thinking about the nature of time. For one, there are 99 tracks on this album, but only 9 songs. That is, each 'song' is spread over about 12 different tracks on the CD. This has been done either in order to combat piracy (which I guess a vastly popular band like Belphegor needs to worry about) or just to be cool. I'm going with the latter.

I'm not sure what happened to Pestapokalypse I through III but I managed to follow the plot of this one fairly easily. Belphegor are an Austrian blackened death metal band, so you can probably stop reading right there and know what you'll think of this one. I remember Belphegor's 2003 album Lucifer Incestus had a pretty awesomely evil front cover, but the one for Pestapokalypse IV (that's a mouthful, even when you're just typing it) is a little more subdued, going for a slightly abstractly evil look rather than the 'naked nuns pleasuring Satan' of their previous effort. Still, not much has changed at the Belphegor camp, music wise. I think the old bass player from Cradle of Filth played on this, but it's not like you could tell.

I didn't burn down any churches after listening to this, so I guess in a sense Belphegor failed. That said, there is some brutality on this album. The song Sanctus Perversum is about where things should be in terms of this sort of metal. Belphegor are a tight outfit, but musically, I don't what to say. It seems like bands like this could almost literally release the same album every year with different artwork and...no, that's too cynical. People would notice, but it might take a few listens. Remember how when Misery released their Revel in Blasphemy album, they had a secret track that contained the whole album played backwards? That sounded pretty cool. In fact, it sounds no better or worse than this Belphegor album.

(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Distribution)

More from Belphegor

Pestapokalypse IV

Reviewed By Daniel Hedger
Published 11/12/2006