The Kingdom of Glacial Palaces
And the battles in the North continue today, this year’s entry being Poland’s Belfegor. Not to be confused with Austrian sado-BM pervs Belphegor, the three-piece Belfegor prove on their The Kingdom of Glacial Palaces debut full-length that they worship at the gates of early Immortal, scurrying through a flurry of single-note-picking riffs and a tasty rasp/retch akin to a young Ihsahn, all atop a quintessentially crusty Grieghallen-esque production. But such worship isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering how, um, immortal Abbath and crew have become their last two records. So, doing some crackpot math here, when you factor in the red-in-the-neck headbanging mid-tempos that quickly rear their ugly heads on “Diabolical (Demonic Desire)” and (more so) “Somewhere Beyond This Reality,” as well as the haunting pitch-bends and micro-tones on “Satanighthrone” that hint at masterful riffery to come, Belfegor could yet deliver an At the Heart of Winter years down the line. In the meantime, however, we’re left with a straight-up black metal record that’s short on originality but laced with inspired ideas and rendered admirably, altogether instilling that spirited stench the original early-’90s BM wave created. But, lads, where’s the corpsepaint?!
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