It's hard to believe, but crazy Austrians BELPHEGOR have managed to top their brilliant album "Lucifer Incestus". They slightly changed their course towards Death Metal, but that's not a problem. BELPHEGOR still deliver a beating like berserkers and, technically speaking, are superior to almost all "great" Death Metal bands.
Right away, the opener with the promising title "The Cruzifixus – Anus Dei" sweeps all doubts aside. This track with an oriental touch sounds like a bastard of NILE & BEHEMOTH. From a technical point of view, these Aussies (no, not the Australian variety) actually school the two Death Gods. That's, so to speak, what annoys a lot of people about technical Death Metal. Where are the choruses, where are the hooks? Not a problem with BELPHEGOR, for despite all technicality and brutality they simply just pull awesome choruses out of their sleeves. They continue on this level, one Death Metal hit follows another until I get stuck on "Sepulture Of Hypocrisy". MORBID ANGEL's "Where The Slime Lives" says 'hello' when it comes to this nasty abscess of Doom.
Then there's the title track, which is just plain fucking awesome. The timing, the production, the song are just plain unbelievable! There are no weak points, and now and then the Black Metal parts can be discerned again, especially in the riffing. They wrote their own death prayer with the closing "Festum Asinorum". This more "solemn" song even includes acoustic guitars and really does sound like a prayer thanks to the purely Latin lyrics. They are delivered using dual vocals; a deep, lamenting priest's voice is heard, and at the same time there's this venomous shrieking...Sounds crazy...
That's what this album is, too: on the one hand you can hardly play Metal this extreme any more precise and hard-hitting, on the other hand our "sick" friends again have some tasteful cover artwork in store, which surely will be a case for the censorship board again. I'm already looking forward to the booklet... (Online March 15, 2005)