Lord Belial

The Black Curse

Written by: EW on 06/09/2008 09:59:20

One of the closing acts at this year's Wacken Open Air was a band I had intended to watch, but come the time of their performance my legs would not allow it. That band was Swedish Black Metallers Lord Belial who are here with their 8th album "The Black Curse" and like many in the BM world are not a band I'm overly familiar with. For those in a similar position to myself and as such to introduce LB, I picked up hints of a veritable who's who of Black Metal in the course of "The Black Curse" including Marduk, Dissection, Emperor, Anaal Nathrakh and Aura Noir. That should get your attention.

The sound on "The Black Curse" can be largely described as the bastard offspring of copulation between the vitriol of Marduk and the fucking brilliant drumsound of Mayhem's über-kult-classic "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". Chuck in some Nathrakh-ian lead riffs and freezing Dissection melodies for good measure and you've got one rather rotten child on your hands. "Antichrist Reborn" and "Ascension Of Lilith", like much else here, are Black/Thrash ala Aura Noir and while lacking some of the crustiness and smell of alcohol of those Norwegians, the intricate lead riffs sourced from the aforementioned Nathrakh add a technically accomplished dimension to the Lord Belial arsenal. Clearly knowing who buttered the metaphorical bread for the bands in the style of Lord Belial, Dissection are effectively paid homage to in "Soul Gate", "Trumpets Of Doom" and "Pazuzu - Lord Of Fevers And Plague", the cold dissonant guitar melodies of Jon Nodtveidt never ceasing to sound great. Perhaps ill-advised given the style of the rest of the album, "Trumpets Of Doom", feels like an ugly duckling with it's Dimmu Borgir/Emperor-y classical piano running alongside lead riffs in the chorus sections of the song, a subtle feature that nonetheless is effective in cutting back on the spite of the remainder of the song.

With a vocalist in Thomas Backelin who sounds much like Satyr of Satyricon, enough of the names in the 'A League' of Black Metal have been ticked to push Lord Belial further than from where came 16 years into their career. Much of the BM world these days offers no challenge to furthering it's well-defined boundaries, an impediment it will need to overcome in the near future, but Lord Belial are not here to make up the numbers and "The Black Curse" is a Black Metal album guaranteed to get the odd spin, nestled amongst the legends that came before it.

Download: Antichrist Reborn, Ascension Of Lilith, Pazuzu - Lord Of Fevers And Plague
For The Fans Of: Mayhem, Marduk, Dissection, Satyricon
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 26.09.08
Regain Records

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