Belphegor Goatreich-Fleshcult

While Goatreich-Fleshcult begins on a somewhat bland tremolo melody, the caustic breakdowns that soon intercept the drone prove this definitely isn’t a group of amateurs. Forming in 1992, this Austrian band has averaged an album every two and a half years but has remained relatively obscure throughout their career. A fierce pace and relentless blasts are melted with momentary pauses, scathing chugs and consistently morphing riffs that give Belphegor an edge over the competition. They mutilate multifarious riffs, with parts often lasting no longer than a couple bars. Some are repeated while others are just a quick glimpse of chaos. They continue to crush at light speed until the fourth song, "Sepulture of Hypocrisy,” when a slowed and memorising advance is adopted in lieu of velocity, highlighted by a record-length suicide slide. They draw crushingly slow chord progressions into a more multifaceted heaviness numerous times afterwards, creating what is arguably the album’s finest merit. Eventually tremolo fatigue sets in, and the music becomes tiring. They have their moments and discernable songs bring them a step up from mediocre but in the end it’s the better side of typical black metal. (Napalm)