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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Review: Belphegor – Necrodaemon Terrorsathan

Label: Nuclear Blast

Date: November 6th, 2020

For starters, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. A whole lot of debates appear every time a band decides to revisit their early works. Especially when it comes to bands of some stature on the scene. Generally, there are two issues being raised each and every time.

One of them would certainly be: why temper with the classics?

Fans grow accustomed to the original. It offers them a distinct sound of an era, emotional charge they are used to and (probably the most important of all) a sense of nostalgia. Memories of the time when they purchased the record, brought it home and blasted it loud, much to the joy of their household members and neighbors. Even if the sonic impact falls far behind the modern standards, and the record itself is now presented in a completely different (and even better) manner than the original. Still, they fail to connect to the newly recorded / mastered / produced material.

And then you have the oldest of questions within the metal community and one that will never be left alone. Are they sell outs? Did they go for the tried and tested formula, because they have nothing new to present? Are they simply looking to rob the loyal followers and collectors of their hard earned money? True Metalheads or hungry for the money posers?

To answer both questions on behalf of Belphegor would be impossible for me, as I do not know the guys personally, nor do I want to look through what’s going on in their heads. Plus, I don’t care all that much.

I’m presented with an album that is celebrating a twenty year anniversary and I believe that was the whole point behind this re-mastered masterpiece. Not to mention the mere fact that “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan” is a definite turning point in Belphegor’s career and the album that basically made them into what they are even today.

Furthermore, the record has undergone mostly cosmetic corrections and it has in no way lost its appeal. If anything, it now sounds even more terrifying than it did twenty years ago.

As far as the money is concerned, who knows… It is obvious that this year has made musicians a lot less cash that the previous ones. However, I seriously doubt that a band doing one of the most brutal forms of death / black metal didn’t make that good of a living from it even before this new plague arrived. Even if signed to Nuclear Blast.

Last and final matter that needs to be resolved is whether Belphegor are capable of crafting another killer record. And another one no one can answer. We will see shortly, I’m sure. It’s already three years since “Totenritual”, so I expect the new material to appear soon.

In the meantime, I’m exhilarated with “Necrodaemon Terrorsathan”, version 2020. It has aged like fine wine and now that Belphegor let it breathe for a while, it does taste exactly like the blood of Christ.