Belphegor Conjures the Dead in Ohio

Austria’s death, black metal blood-stained blasphemers Belphegor played the Buckeye state Saturday Aug. 28. The foursome performed a blackened ceremony to a packed house at Oddbody’s, full of hot, sweaty, somewhat intoxicated followers and disciples. The show was part of the bands 11th North American raid through the U.S.

Guitarist/vocalist Helmuth put together a savage live beating for the crowd on every stop with the sonic brutal death tech onslaught of Origin, Sweden’s Shining and American metallers Abigail Williams. Their only Ohio date, Oddbody’s was show 15 of 23 on their North American Headlining raid.

Between live massacres and death cremations the band has been working on new material and plan to release a new onslaught in April 2017.

Mansfield’s Krymzon started the nine-band night, with a style incorporating hardcore, thrash and punk. Vocalist Ron Wise sounded like he was spewing out John Connelly nuclear assaults without the raspy delivery with some DRI inspiration, while guitarist Joey VanDine gnashed out some deeply Dimebag riffs.

“Lunacy Divine” preached out the biblical blast-beated word screaming out the sermons and dark rhetoric. “Diminishment of Reason” steamrolled just as fast custom fit, strapped, suited and shackled for a circle pit, slam-dance beating.

“Tyrants of Hate” could be the result if thrash and punk ever had a jam session together. Monks started the chant of “Birthing the Nephilim” with guitar patterns suggesting an insidious awaking or the rebirth of the godfather of death metal.

Slaves Among Death brought a unique equation of funk and groove to the night surrounded by black and death metal. If Morbid Angel met Korn and played funk and groove you’d have the guys in Slaves. Recently becoming a four piece they have a recording planned for later this month. “Deadlock” started the show. “Bloodlines” ran deep in the world of music and metal brotherhood. “The Illusion” ended their set.

From the Dark Soul of Cincinnati came some random loud acts of violence courtesy of the Testament enriched five piece.

With licks of Obituary and Biohazard the “Pain” began in all its extreme divinity, driving people to extreme ends of sanity and behavior. “Junkie” began with growled poetry slamming into guitar grooves from the angry therapy chair with no happy place to be found. It was heavier than Alice’s four-legged stationary piece.

They ended with “Random Axe” of violence inspired by the word of Manson with black metal menace and Venom-ous lyrics. The loud promises to violate through violent infiltration rang out like a demented serial killer greeting card.

Engraved Darkness got a little darker combining two forces of nature with other elements in the local scene and a darker more sinister sound. Barking out the unholy pages of cursed scripture as only the wisdom of the engraved goat can do, Johnnie Wallace belted out opener “Die.” A short and sweet opener and an introduction/roll call for the coming misanthropy.

“Fate Divine” brought out a crunchy, bulldozing Morbid Angel feel, with a devastating pace. “Ritualistic Sins” was a proclamation sentence for participating in the arts of necromancy and black magic.  “The Purity of Evil” rang out loud and gloomy like the thunderous voice of the abyss. It was longer and slower, prolonging the agony of the countless tortured souls.

Xenia’s Weeping Lesion  brought out the “Insidious” sounds continuing the audience pounding with another set of slam-dance worthy tunes.  “Strep” could have been the theme for the night’s collective throats, on and off stage. “Impaletration” brought out the morbid visions, whether they belonged to Vlad or cannibals of the holocaust wasn’t known. “Painstorm” brought what it promised to the pit.

Bringing a unique mix of sounds, musical landscapes and psychedelic auras, Abigail Williams  brought part Opeth, the visual presence of Dave Grohl, the prog of Floyd’s experimental influence, some black metal for screaming sake and a haunting vibe channeled through eerie, chilling notes and delivery. Classical elements mixed with psychedelic strings and mood enhancing melodies.  Long, complex opuses of screaming and sensory confusion included “Infernal Divide” as the three-piece cranked out the mind-bending sound waves.

The path to enlightenment continued with evil f–king music from Halmstad, Sweden via Shining. While black metal laden in sound and delivery at times, the band stood clean faced but with none the less extreme metal energy mixed with prog and acoustics. They have nine albums and several EP’s to their credit. “Vilja & Drom” coiled with black metal energy with a dictator’s sharp, commanding tongue and unexpected but effective Opeth approach. The gruff, tongue rolling of Niklas Kvarforth commanded the stage from the onset.

“Framtidsutsikter” started acoustic with a ‘80s arena ballad feel. A little bit of Rammstein for good hot flamed flavor with tension, unease and eerie calm, reverberating in the chords and vocals as guitars came in to attack and strangle.

“Ohm (Sommar Med Siv)” dripped with that slick dark, strapping Rammstein sexuality as guitars stringed together twin harmony’s to trap the listener. “Låt oss ta allt från varandra” took a more depressive classic melancholy approach with softer vocals before screaming guitars come out of hiding playing rampant.

“For the God Below” ended with eight minutes of grand showmanship to the god that dwells in the dark.

Origin’s high tech death shredders, continued the voluntary controlled violence, raising the bar and crowd expectations ten horns high. Whipping the crowd into another frenzy including an intimate wall of death they began with “The Beyond Within.” Everything happened at uber-rapid-fire pace and brutality. Origin shows are fast, bludgeoning and brutal. Music made for mosh/circle pits and crowd surfing beginning as sudden as they end.

“Thrall: Fulcrum Apex” was one minute of punk themed, chugging, free-style limb throwing. On “Expulsion of Fury” guitar notes whined and screamed as drums Gatling-gunned beats like a mob war firefight. “Purgatory” was a minute-and-half unapologetic “slower” (like automatic caught in slow motion) tune, breath catcher.

“Saligia” was seven minutes of rapid motion speed and precession. “Aftermath” blasted with high tech battalion speed. “Redistribution of Filth” kicked in with menacing rough riffs like a grooving pounding fist/helping hand. “Portal” ended the show starting without warning.

Belphegor’s presentation resembled more horror movie graveyard than stage consecration. Skulls, bones and dead desert animal heads decorated the platform adorned in pseudo Ed Gein décor.  Skeletal remains bathed in eerie blue and red light faced the crowd.  A horrific but cool mix of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cannibal Holocaust, Temple of Doom and Fury Road.

Sounds of dark worship that could’ve been from an underground ceremony or the depths of the abyss played prepping the audience for live blasphemy.

They arrived painted to possess as the strobe lights blasted their dark silhouettes like shining morning stars.

The church bells rang and horns were raised as Helmuth’s bloodshot head and face came into view for “In Blood-Devout this Sanctity.”  Blast beat lyrical fire spewed and bombs exploded on “Gasmask Terror.” From the darkest regions of oblivion “Belphegor-Hell’s Ambassador” made an appearance from Pestapokalypse VI.

The night’s necromancy began as Pazuzu came from Helmuth’s throat as the mangling blacksmith’s hammer fell with guitar notes twisting and contorting “Conjuring the Dead.”

Souls and demon’s danced together in evil union on “Pactum in Aeternum.”  “Bondage Goat Zombie” screamed of unrestrained sexual deviance and practices. A devoutly dark art disciplined monk appeared, waving the acrid incense masking and, or encouraging the stench.

Newest tune “Tottenkult-Exegesis of Deterioration” chugged along with dark foreboding ominous. They ended with the blood pouring of “Bleeding Salvation.”

 

Images by Mike Ritchie

 

 

 

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