Belphegor is releasing their 11th studio album on September 15th, via Nuclear Blast, titled Totenritual. This album strikes you from the beginning with the song titled “Baphomet”, a straight punch to the throat with heavy artillery on the drums and furious guitar riffs throughout the song. It is a relentless debauchery, which takes you to a place where brutality never ceases. There are tracks like “The Devil’s Son”, which contain that magical signature of classic clean guitar proving an ominous interlude; allowing the fans to escape from the beating for a few seconds. When suddenly, there is another sharp plunge with intense music speeding up.
The sound Belphegor has perfected over the years is owed to mastermind Helmuth, who writes both lead guitars, and rhythm along with the lyrics. His uncanny ability to write diabolical music improves as they tour. He delivers malignant riffs that will make your body jerk, for example that guitar solo on “The Devil’s Son” is furious, rapid fire and will pull your spine out. The record took nearly six weeks to track down the bass, drums and both guitars; being completed with the vocals on the last day of that course. Another eviscerating track is “Swinefever- Regent of Pigs”, a blasphemous track with intent to offend the “deities” that run this dying world kicks in, ravaging your ears. There is no room for the divine here, the battle will be lost as the song delivers punishing hammering of the drums by Bloodhammer. Darkness will descend upon thee, as “Apophis- Black Dragon” kicks off with a relentless guitar riff, being contrasted with that staggering drum work, only adding depth and intensity by the bass work of Serpenth. This album has chants in a clean style, and the black metal elements kick in simultaneously. The work in this record contains some original language from poems, as to give the record a discordant sound. As we let the record blister our ears with intense riffs, you can catch some prominent black metal riffs, specially on track “Spell of Reflection”, a lot of heavy guitars and slowed beats kick in, the drums give you a small breakdown feel, yet it never gets to that point. The drums simply add rhythm providing a decapitating sound.
The record is the awakening of evil, it will pervade your body, posses it with the unholy riffs, lyrics and musicianship this band proudly displays. Helmuth is not new to being disliked, and he does not care to be liked he writes offensive music that a cult will worship for centuries to come, he puts his black soul into each riff, interpreting images from a twilight zone he once visited. For detailed information about the process of the recording, and the meaning behind tracks and album art work check out our chat with the mastermind himself right below.
|This is what Helmuth had to say about the work and much more in out chat.
Jose -“The 11th studio album titled Totenritual comes out on September 15th, via Nuclear Blast Records, this is a malignant creation; what made you chose the track Baphomet as a starter and not Apophis?”
Helmuth- “It is 2017, we want out music to reflect what the world has. We want to deliver a sound and make the best heavy music we can. It is a great powerful song, intense and filled with rage.”
Jose- “Conjuring the Dead was out in 2015 you soon toured in support of that record, when did you have time to write the new content for Totenritual?”
Helmuth- “It was mid of 2015, I had a lot of time to write, we toured the world, from Asia, USA, Europe and Germany heavily. We had breaks in between, we spent time rehearsing new tracks. I have the guys there with me practicing the songs, I want to feel the music, I don’t want to sound plastic, you know I wanted it all to sound organic. I want to feel each part, the bass, vocals the drums. Make it the heaviest ever.”
Jose “I saw you live at The Whiskey A Go Go, you guys kill man.”
Helmuth- “Yea we have come to the US about 11 times now, we love touring in Los Angeles, in North America in general. the crowd is very dynamic it is always great to play there. The people are great.”
Jose- “How long did it take to record the album, did yo do anything different during the recording of Totenritual compared to Conjuring the Dead?”
Helmuth- lDifferent, well we do not record all at once. We start with the bass, move along to tracking the drums, take breaks. We do this so it we can be able to go back and change things if we want to. Let’s say we like the guitar riff but we can make it heavier lets change it. It is so the music can grow so we say lets try this again. I work with the guitars, I like to make it diabolical, make it better each time the total time I want to say it was about 6 weeks with the mixing and mastering being part of it.”
Jose – “There is no doubt you guys are the masters of blackened death metal, you added a clean acoustic guitar to some tracks on this album what inspired you to do so?”
Helmuth -“It is not the first time, we expand the guitar to clean guitars, I love playing clean parts added to the songs, it sounds a little different. I am not that great at playing the acoustic guitar, I wish I was I am not like those flamenco players out there maybe one day. I had a vision in my head, i wanted to play it. It is important to me to be uncharge of the guitar parts and I wanted to add that. We have phenomenal songs that explain the new world we live in.”
Jose- “The artwork was done once again by Greek artists Seth Siro Anton, do you guide him on what you want the work to be? What does the work explain?”
Helmuth – “In 2011 I died, I had opened heart surgery, I had heart damage, liver damage it took 6 weeks to be in the hospital, 8 weeks to recover. I had hallucinations, I was broken because I could not play guitar, move as everything hurt took me 10 months to be able to play guitar again. It was depressing. I was on a machine for months, breathing. I wanted to document it all but I could not. Alcohol and drugs almost killed me, so I take it easy now with that. I try not to drink on tour. I don’t believe in god, fuck that shit, the doctors brought me back to life, they fixed me not some fake god. So all that represents the work.
I would never imitate anyones album cover, I like what I have we did a great job working together on this cover. I did give him ideas.”
Jose -“Yea, things like that can happen, we are glad you are back with us and keep delivering the ominous tracks like, Apophis- Black Dragon, do you happen to have a song that you can honestly say that is your favorite one?”
Helmuth- “Each song I worked hard on, all are intense. It was demanding as we wrote the songs and recorded them. I am pleased with the entire album, but Baphomet to me is a heavy song the has a brutal attack. Embracing Stars- is another track that has that death metal sound, clean bass, chants, I truly can’t decide I am pleased with the entire album.”
Jose -“You write all the guitar riffs, lead and rhythm, have you considered bringing on a permeant second guitarist?”
Helmuth- lI like to be in control of the guitar, I do have session touring guitarist but since 2006 since former guitarist Sigur left the band and Serpenth joined the force. we have had a new drummer (Bloodhammer. Since 2014 we have new blood in the line up (Bloodhammer/ drums), and march in worldwide as three piece. I do not want to bring another guitarist. I please my self first, if people like it I appreciate, if they get offended oh well. Their loss not mine..”
Jose -“When will you be touring in support of this record?”
Helmuth- We will start in Europe after the album´s release date, march there September, til end October. I want to tour the USA around November/ December. I can’t give much details but we have some great tours coming up.”
Jose- “Well we are looking forward to seeing you in the States, and can’t wait until this album is released, we are excited to see what the world thinks of this intense album.”
Helmuth- “Thank you, we will definitely see you in the States (roars…)”, and we cut off the conversation.
Written by: Hostile Jo
Photo From Interview By: Jose Barrientos
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