The Kingdom of Glacial Palaces

World War III

Black/war metal is so comforting at times. It’s this worldwide movement where bands from places as far flung as Poland, Finland, Brazil, and even our ol’ USA follow the same musical blueprint, foster similar obsessions, beliefs, and aesthetics. It’s a very white music, as well. And I don’t mean that in terms of casting racist aspersions, or in trying to get all sniffy about it. I think that European black metal, especially that out of the old Eastern Bloc n’ roll countries (of which Belfegor is one), is the logical sonic descendent of David Bowie’s Thin White Duke/Berlin Period; that is, a musical expression firmly rooted in the Old World that seeks its aural cues from immediate surroundings, rather than in the far-off blues and black music, from which most American rock is derived. Keith Richards admits it, and goes on to say that you can’t get any heavier than Muddy Waters. Well you can. And Belfegor is one of the groups that are. Belfegor deal in the classic, cold, and primitive style of black metal. Keep it simple, stupid, like Darkthrone, Marduk, and early Mayhem. There are gleaming moments of liquid nitrogen melody, and they hit you harder than the eternal onslaught of blast beats. Vocals are rooted firmly in the Fenriz/Attila camp, with a bit of the Jeff Walker gurgle. And despite getting all academic before, I have to say that I enjoy this record on a very subjective, just-cuz-it’s-heavy level. Great driving record.

WWIII, PO Box 4517, Downey, CA 90241

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