You’ll be lying near dead in a pool of your own blood if you sit this album through in one listen, let me tell you that… Well, maybe not (since I’m still in the land of the living), but the sheer brutality and aggression of this album cannot be denied. “Pestapokalypse VI” is just one of those albums that never lets up, so if you like your Metal loud, ugly and HEAVY, you’ll find this the best thing since canned beer!
What is there to be said about these infernal Austrians? They have some of the coolest album titles around – I mean, it’s so badass to call your albums “Goatreich–Fleshcult” or “Necrodaemon–Terrorsathan” – and, unlike many others in this field, these guys know the true meaning of what it takes to play Blackened Death Metal (6 parts Black Metal atmosphere, 3 parts Death Metal riffs, and 1 part insane vocals) without becoming mediocre. These guys simply know how to take the best parts of extreme Metal, twisting it into form, and regurgitating it as their own creation. “Pestapokalypse VI” is no different, and it is yet another solid addition to the BELPHEGOR canon.
“Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador” (that they are indeed!) starts off the hellfest with a riff that’s very NILE-ish with an atmospheric Middle-Eastern motif, and some of the most insane vocals I’ve heard all year long. Great way to kick off an album! Next up is another one of my favorites, “Seyn Todt In Schwartz”, a faster paced song with some very creepy underlying leads and melodies all the way through. I don’t know if it’s just me but this song brings forth mental images of being stuck in a desert with fire raining down from a blood red sky… “Angel Of Retribution” brings things down a notch with a Doom-y vibe and a haunting, semi-clean sung chorus. The next two songs then pile on the infernal atmosphere again, but they sound too derivative of early VADER to me. The soloing at 2:44 in “Chants For The Devil” absolutely kills though… “The Ancient Enemy” is one of the standout tracks on here, and it is the perfect example of what BELPHEGOR is all about – a downright evil atmosphere and blastbeats so fast my mind might actually implode upon itself if I try to understand how one human is capable of such a drumming performance. Imagine NECROPHOBIC on speed and you’ll have an idea of what yours truly is raving on about. From here on till the end the standard is kept high, with “Sanctus Perversum” being especially impressive (the chanted chorus rules), although I’m a bit bulked by the last song, “Das Pesthaus/Miasma Epilog”, as it just ends VERY abruptly. Anyway, after the preceding musical brilliance they could have ended the album with a John Denver cover and I wouldn’t have minded!
So there you have it. Some of the slower songs lack a bit of punch here and there, but overall I can’t complain about this one. If you never liked these guys before this won’t change your mind (although it will give you a massive headache). I love it and this one of the best and most potent exercises in sonic extremism you’ll find this year!
(Online December 8, 2006)