Belphegor - _Lucifer Incestus_
(Napalm Records, 2003)
by: Matthias Noll (8 out of 10)
_Lucifer Incestus_ finds Austria's Belphegor moving into much more Swedish sounding territory than ever before. This album is a blast-fest almost all the way through, with a multitude of guitar layers, way more textures than ever before, occasional keyboards accentuating some of the very few slower sections, and vocals which alternate between death metal bellowing and a black metallish rasp. While Belphegor are certainly among the few bands that can pull this hybrid style off with outstanding skill, breathtaking speed and the brutality level permanently at 11, I miss some of the raw old-school death metal vibe of _Necrodaemon Terrorsathan_. I also bemoan that the Austrians, who were always beyond fast in the first place, have sacrificed a part of their identity to the gods of hyperblast to be able to accelerate even further. The problem with this breakneck speed approach is that the faster you go the more difficult it gets to write really memorable riffs instead of just successions of semi-melodic bursts. At this extremity level it seems unavoidable that _Lucifer Incestus_ will be one of those albums that lose some of their momentum after the first three tracks and start to appear a bit samey during the second half. As always you find me complaining way too much however, and I have to avoid a tendency to make this review sound as if _Lucifer Incestus_ is a bad album. Quite the contrary: this material blows away the last two Marduk albums and the laughable posers from Dark Funeral with ease, crushes newer bands like The Legion without effort and sounds much better and heavier to my ears than what I've heard from almost every other blasting blackdeath outfit this year. In addition to this, the production is outstanding and once again doesn't sound clinical or compressed, and "Diaboli Virtus in Lubar Est" is the best song Belphegor have written so far. So, despite my complaints, which are probably the result of unrealistic expectations, there are plenty of reasons why _Lucifer Incestus_ should have a slot very close to the top of the list of records you must purchase in 2003.

(article published 26/12/2003)


ALBUMS
10/16/2014 A El Naby 7 Belphegor - Conjuring the Dead
3/6/2011 A El Naby 8 Belphegor - Blood Magick Necromance
4/27/2008 J Smit 5 Belphegor - Bondage Goat Zombie
12/26/2006 J Smit 8.5 Belphegor - Pestapokalypse VI
4/7/2005 T DePalma 6 Belphegor - Goatreich - Fleshcult
7/3/2002 M Noll 8.5 Belphegor - Necrodaemon Terrorsathan
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