With their latest album boasting the title of “Bondage Goat Zombie”, these Austrians were either at their depraved best or they’ve been smoking a particularly potent brand of monkey tobacco. I mean, these guys have always had a knack of coming up with bizarre album titles – “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan”, “Infernal Live Orgasm”, “Goatreich-Fleshcult” – but this latest one takes the (infernal) cake. Jesus. So does this sonic mix of “BDSM and Sathan” see them at their hellish best or is this just one big piss-take, I hear you ask...
Well, for better or worse, it is a little of both. The overt focus on all things whip, mask and leather daddy vest-related may justifiably incite more than the odd snigger or two, but on a purely musical level I can’t really fault these Austrians’ latest full-length. Picking up right where the devastating “Pestapokalypse VI” left off and integrating a few more slower passages here and there as well as splices of female vocal embellishments, while still maintaining their renowned Death/Black aesthetic, this album is certainly not one to toss aside. Helmuth’s vocal terrorism is still quite something to behold, and let’s just say that after one spin his larynx will be gushing blood as well as your ears. Guitar and drum wise there is a nice balance maintained between horrendously fast (“Stigma Diabolicum”) and enticingly atmospheric (“The Sukkubus Lustrate” & “Der Rutenmarsch”). Problem is just that even at its best this album feels like an inferior version of their previous album. “BGZ” doesn’t feature any real rippers like “Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador” or “Bluthsturm Erotika”. They pull it all off with psychotic precision though, and the production job packs a mighty punch so if you have a carving for something to punish your senses (not to mention your poor speakers) then this album will do just fine.
But dammit if the imagery adorning the cover, booklet and lyrics wasn’t so utterly daft! It may just be me, but shouldn’t Satanism be all about strength, individualism and growth? I’m sorry but this obsession with algolagnia (Wikipedia that) and submission isn’t very evil at all to this reviewer. The lads in DARK FUNERAL already made asses of themselves by posing in bondage gear for the “Diabiolis Interium” promo pictures and it seems that Helmuth and co. have, for whatever reason, followed suit. Yes, there’s a pun in there somewhere. The band is out for blood, teeth bared and all, but if you look closely you’ll notice a wry smile behind the ghastly facade.
(Online June 9, 2008)