Belphegor - Pestapokalypse VI
Nuclear Blast
Blackened Death Metal
9 songs (38:02)
Release year: 2006
Belphegor, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Austrian hellraisers Belphegor thrive on their underappreciated mixture of blasphemy and riffage, and album number six is no exception. They’re very good at standing between genres, a bit Black, a bit Death, and a bit Thrash, even a bit Melodeath at times, and as mean-spirited as fellow reviewer James’ summation of the band as ‘extreme metal fast food’ was, there’s a shard of truth in there. Like the best combination of mouth-watering burger and crunchy tasty chips, the Austrians may not be the most nutritious option, but hot damn do they taste good after a long dull day at work! Listening to Pestapokalypse VI again with stomach rumbling and mouth watering, it’s a very satisfying experience; opener Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador sweeps in with catchy riffs and Nile-esque Eastern-tinged oddness aplenty, summoning demonic splendour with scream-along chorus and wildly unrestrained soloing. It’s a great start to the album, kicking the door in and absolutely, positively killing every motherfucker in the room, followed soon by the raging intensity of Seyn Todt In Schwartz, the album title half chanted, half snarled in a typically great performance from vocalist Helmuth.

Elsewhere, songs take a slightly slower, equally intense and grandiose style, pummelling blastbeats and varied guitarwork at their best – all the musicians present are more than capable, especially the guitarists and session drummer Jan "Blastphemer" Benkwitz (also of Antares Predator and the excellent Absentia Lunae) who hits the drums as if they’re the face of Christ himself. Angel Of Retribution is reminiscent of a more melodic and disciplined later Morbid Angel, an ambient outro setting up the following Chants For The Devil 1533 (rhythmic vomit noises and almost orchestral epic backing!) well. Pest Teufel Apocalypse is a truly grumpy roar of demonic intent, enjoyable touches like squealing pigs and bass trills icing on the satanic cake.

If there’s a fault, it’s that even in its relatively short incarnation here the formula can get a little repetitive – there aren’t great differences between songs, and unless you’ve listened a lot one satanic tirade sounds much like another. The people who don’t like Belphegor seem to be the ones who listen to the latest album, get bored and go back to Behemoth, and whilst the Poles may be better at Death Metal catchiness, the Austrians more than have the edge in terms of sheer Black Metal aggression and intensity. At several times the band seem to be channelling Marduk, and the Swedes’ passion and belief are more than reproduced in the likes of the slower Blutstorm Erotika and the even faster (to begin with, at least) epic bludgeon of Sanctus Peversum. By the time the two-minute riffed-up finale Das Pesthaus/Miasma Epilog rolls around, you’ll be sated – Belphegor may not have created a perfect album here, but they made a damn good one that doesn’t deserve to vanish into their underrated discography.

Killing Songs :
Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador, Seyn Todt In Schwartz, Pest Teufel Apocalypse, The Ancient Enemy, Blutstorm Erotika, Sanctus Peversum
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Belphegor that we have reviewed:
Belphegor - Goatreich - Fleshcult reviewed by Jared and quoted 85 / 100
Belphegor - Conjuring the Dead reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Belphegor - Blood Magick Necromance reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Belphegor - Lucifer Incestus reviewed by Tony and quoted 86 / 100
Belphegor - Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn reviewed by Dan and quoted 75 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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