Album Review: Belzebubs – Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods
It might have spawned from a black metal comic strip, but there’s nothing actually comical about Belzebubs’ debut album. That Emperor-nudging title and songs like Cathedrals Of Mourning and The Faustian Alchemist are poised so perfectly between satire, homage and the genuine article that you couldn’t slide the thinnest of razor blades between the three.
It helps that the musicians bringing this fictional band to audible life are blazing, with a suitably icy flame of course. And, because Belzebubs are essentially the Gorillaz of the metal world, they can get away with cross-pollinations and experimental flourishes without putting their blacker-than-thou credentials at stake. So, there are grand orchestral sweeps that touch on Emperor again and extreme prog-metal epics that sound more like weirdo U.S. black metal occultists Absu. Elsewhere, there are wailing solos, while The Crowned Daughters goes from singer-songwriter folk to feral snarling like Simon & Garfunkel gone rabid. Move over Dethklok, there’s a new virtual band in town.
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