Two demos called Kruzifixion and Bloodbath In Paradise were released with the latter being pressed as a Maxi. It seems that Belphegor's goal has always been to be the sickest band out there. Very brutal music mixes with brutal imagery to form Belphegor. The Last Supper had a covert cover which has to be seen. Phallelujah Productions was the band's own imprint. The live album also celebrated the band's tenth anniversary. German drummer Torturer joined and left the band in 2002. The band played at the Summerbreeze Festival, Brutal Assault and Morbide Festspiele in 2002. New bassist Barth was soon introduced. The band signed with Napalm Records and hired Atrocity's Alex Krull as producer. Lucifer Incestus was issued in late 2003. The band had also played at the No Commerce Festival that year. The band issued The Goatreich - Fleshcult as the title for its 2005 album which was released in February through Napalm Records. The band left Napalm Records after complaining about a lack of support in 2005. The band and bassist Barth parted ways in the winter of 2006. The man was reportedly involved in an accident and had not seen the necessary improvements in his hand.
The group signed to Nuclear Blast Records, which issued the band’s Pestapokalypse VI album in November. Drummer Tomasz “Nefastus” Janiszewski was sacked however. A European tour was soon cancelled following confusion and rumours, including Deranged as opening act (denied by the Swedes) and another announced line-up featuring Setherial. Bondage Goat Zombie was issued in April of 2008. Belphegor picked Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn as the title for its eighth full-length album, which was due out in October, 2009 through Nuclear Blast Records. Robi Kovacic was sessioning on drums. Austria’s Belphegor ended work on its next album in the autumn of 2010. Blood Magick Necromance was produced by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy) at his Abyss Studio. The album would be released on January 14th, 2011 in Europe and on February 8th, 2011 in North America. Singer, guitarist and band leader Helmuth Lehner underwent "a serious and difficult" operation in October of 2011 on the heels of the band’s South American shows. The band cancelled any live activities. Singer and guitarist Helmuth Lehner, who underwent an operation in October of 2011 was still not recovered as of the summer of 2012, and was unable to handle vocals at the band's Extremefest appearances. Filling in for him was the band's former bassist, Bartholomäus "Barth" Resch. The band was booked for Steelfest Open Air 2013, an extreme metal festival that would take place in Hyvinkää, Finland on May 24th and 25th, 2013 featuring, amongst others, Mayhem, Sodom, Destruction, Mayhem and Tsjuder.
BELPHEGOR - THE LAST SUPPER - LAST EPISODE/WW3
Released originally in 1995 on the long-dead Lethal Records, this re-release adds bonus tracks from a five year old, two cover versions and hence tracks at over 60 minutes. Despite being rather anti-metal in interviews, the band plays death metal a la Celtic Frost, Carcass and Cannibal Corpse. A dual-vocal system is used (high and low) and sadly the keyboards make a per functionary appearance as well. The band's musicianship, on this disc, is not much to write home about but the pace certainly is punishing and speed-oriented. Then again a riff like Rapture Of Cremation's sits on your chest and makes you heave to live. All in all the heaviness wins out over other concerns.
BELPHEGOR – PESTAPOKALYPSE VI – NUCLEAR BLAST
Prepare to be impressed! It is not coincidental that Nuclear Blast Records was quick to grab Belphegor following the band’s falling out with its former label for Pestapokalypse VI is the type of album that can unite both death and black metal fans under its sinister mantle. It takes a mere few seconds before the band’s tight and powerful delivery kicks in enough degrees for the aforementioned assertion to prove itself. With nearly every song majestically extreme, the Austrian duo (or trio depending on which day you would be reading this) has undoubtedly delivered a benchmark album for fans of Marduk, Immortal, Deicide and Vader. The drums shake whole foundations, the guitar leads are as smooth as Lucifer’s sweet tongue and the vocals, all three or four of them, they belch venom like a chemical factory on double shift.
Of note is the band’s overtly and explicit anti-Christian image and messaging, which is delivered on a label run and owned (if not staffed) by a Christian. In an actual case of art imitating life (and life giving right back) Christ and anti-Christ feed off each other and deal with little regard for the big picture of their respective ideologies.
Check out the Slayer riff and picking on Bluhtsturm Erotika and tell me why Slayer still needs to exist. – Ali “The Metallian”
BELPHEGOR - BONDAGE GOAT ZOMBIE – NUCLEAR BLAST
This album has a title meant to summarize concepts and nine tracks meant to be varied but uncompromising. That is the intent of Bondage Goat Zombie and the opener and title track go a long way in confirming and achieving that. The stated mix of death and black metal is a pretty accurate one as songs go from the mainly death metal in the aforementioned opener and others like Stigma Diabolicum and Shred For Sathan to others which add heavy riffing, touches of atmosphere and offer tempo changes. Perverse concepts are present here, as expected from the title and cover art, in Justine: Soaked In Blood and Sexdictator Lucifer. The latter comes close to being a death metal anthem with tempo and a chorus well suited for the big (metal) stage. The closing segment, divided into The Sukkubus Lustrate and Der Rutenmarsch, features some annoying vocals that is reminiscent of Morbid Angel’s God Of Emptiness and while it fits the concept and is not as bad as Morbid Angel’s it is nevertheless nowhere near as effective as when the speed and heaviness of the instruments are at the forefront. – Anna Tergel
Hot on the heels of the release of the album called Bondage Goat Zombie Helmuth of Belphegor speaks to Metallian’s RG to expound on his considerable views. The band’s music is difficult, the lyrics are difficult and so is the main power behind them. – 12.04.2008
METALLIAN: Helmuth, I want to ask you regarding your biography supplied with your latest album, Bondage Goat Zombie. What do you think of lines like “Bah Bah Black Sheep” or “No Life ‘Til Leather”?
HELMUTH: I didn’t see it.
METALLIAN: Well, are you comfortable with these lines and do you believe they might clash with your music and image?
HELMUTH: I don’t have anything to do with it. Whatever!
METALLIAN: Along the same lines, and this time on your own website, you use the term “Art” to describe your music as in “Supreme Death/ Black Metal Art...”
HELMUTH: For me it is art. It is like the music is perfect. The cover is perfect. The band is also perfect. Everything is a unit. For me it is not only a CD; for me it’s my heart, my energy, and my motivation. Everything is inside the new album and the new songs and I work day and night for it and I also play a lot of guitar, I practice a lot. For me it is my life and I like it and art sounds good.
METALLIAN: The band is the whole package for you.
HELMUTH: Yes, it’s not for Sheep and stuff (laughs).
METALLIAN: Can you tell me about the choice of the Bondage Goat Zombie title?
HELMUTH: The title fits the concept perfectly. Bondage deals with all the fetish stuff. It is inspired by the work of Marquis De Sade. Goat has been our trademark since the end of the ‘90s. Zombie just goes along with my opinion that people are like brainless fucked up zombies walking all over the earth and defacing it like the plague.
METALLIAN: And musically, how would you compare it to your other, older, albums?
HELMUTH: I don’t compare albums! Each time we try to give our best and make a good album and this time it’s the same. It’s fucking music and it’s always the same. This time we managed to melt ultra-blast beats and heaviness into one unit. There is some fucking fast stuff on it and some songs that are slower. There is diversity on this album and I think this is the highlight. Each song has its own atmosphere and moments, which are like like a punch in your face. All the nine songs are really cool fucking death metal with black metal influences with raised intensity and dynamics.
METALLIAN: Going back, can you tell me how come you ended up on Nuclear Blast. I ask that specifically because a band like Belphegor, especially with your image and lyrics, is rare on the label.
HELMUTH: Yes, sure, I know. We were not pleased with our former label (ed: Napalm Records). They all sucked balls. We wanted to change and we sent material from the Pestapokalypse VI album to a few labels out there and we got some offers. Nuclear Blast was one of them and we decided to take the offer because they have the best distribution worldwide in my opinion. We can do what we want. We have no restrictions. We have freedom to decide. As you see, the lyrics are fucking brutal. Normally they wouldn’t want to list it but they understand the basics and they treat us like this. We always want to do our own shit and it doesn’t matter if we are on Nuclear Blast or any other label. It’s the perfect label for us. They have a good team, they do good teamwork and they ask me if they can do this or that. We always chat together and make some promo plans and stuff like that so it’s a big step forward for the band in terms of promotion and touring. They are a very good label for us definitely and I am very pleased especially regarding the USA deal. They brought us to the US three times now. It was always a dream for me to do North America.
METALLIAN: That was the main reason for leaving Napalm Records, wasn’t it? Not being happy with the support you were getting.
HELMUTH: I don’t talk about this name anymore, whatever. I am done with this name (whistles). I won’t say it otherwise I get a lawyer on my ass. I don’t touch that anymore.
METALLIAN: Can you talk about the members of the band? The changes - especially on drums - and the band basically being a duo…
HELMUTH: Yes, we have always been two or three people. For me it’s not a big deal. Good people come; good people leave, for me it’s always an experiment to work with other musicians and learn something from them and see how they work, how they play their instruments or treat things. For me it’s always a challenge to get fresh blood in the band. The most important thing is to guarantee the people a good live, intense show and that’s the only thing that counts and the rest is music… let the music do the talking.
METALLIAN: How do you work and what is the process of writing new songs then?
HELMUTH: I am always prepared when we enter the studio. Everything, ninety percent of stuff is written. I write the most shit at night. I live the most at night. I just a practice a lot and work on the songs and each detail.
METALLIAN: Speaking of your most recent tour in these shores and your previous North American tour that included Canada, how was the reaction that you got both here in Canada and in the USA?
HELMUTH: Amazing, the reason we have done it three times now. As I said, it was always a dream for me tour the US, Canada and Brazil and it seems unreal to me that we did so many shows in the US and also in Canada. The people were cool there, fucking got crazy and everything, gave us energy so we tried to unleash our energy on stage. It is beyond amazing for us to tour there and I hope we can return there again in October and November, that is to both the US and Canada.
METALLIAN: Your most recent US North American tour didn’t include Canada...
HELMUTH: That’s always the thing, booking problem, when we get the offer we can say yes or no and last tour there were no dates in Canada. I hope the next time we can visit Canada again. It’s cool to play there. It’s always a big wish for me to go around to different countries and get the opportunity to play shows worldwide with my band. I don’t even want any money for it, on the contrary, I thank Satan for it.
METALLIAN: How about the Austrian metal scene…
HELMUTH: I don’t know. I don’t care about scenes, not in Austria nor in the USA, I don’t have time or energy for it. There are so many good bands around worldwide.
METALLIAN: No death or black metal bands as big as you in Austria...
HELMUTH: I know what you mean, but to be honest we tour all the time but not so often in Austria. There are many bands here, but I don’t know most of them. All you need to know are Pungent Stench, Abigor, maybe Disharmonic Orchestra; there are others that I don’t really know, but these are the known ones. It is like the same everywhere, there are some good bands and also thousands of shitty bands that should learn to play their instruments and not paint their faces. That is so boring when you see these bands over and over again.
METALLIAN: Trends that come and go.
HELMUTH: Yes they make it for three or four years and then it’s back to the McDonald’s shit.
METALLIAN: Did you play in any other bands?
HELMUTH: I played in a lot of shitty local bands. I also played in a jazz band, a rock band, and a hard rock band, all not worth the mention. I learnt a lot in that time but I really started late. I was seventeen or eighteen but everything was a process for me.
METALLIAN: Any names that stand out that you could mention?
HELMUTH: They were all shit.
METALLIAN: Any news or anything you want to add. Are you definitely planning to come back to North America in the autumn?
HELMUTH: Yes, I hope we can, in the next two or three months we won’t play many shows. We will cool down a bit and recharge the batteries and in September we start again with shows through Europe.
METALLIAN: Are there summer festivals coming up?
HELMUTH: Yes a few, not so many, seven, eight or nine I think.
METALLIAN: How were the bigger shows you have done that included bands like Lacuna Coil and Danzig?
HELMUTH: Danzig was amazing, probably those bigger shows were the first and last time, but I am a big Danzig fan so for me it was an honour to tour with him. He treated us well. Each show with him was amazing.
METALLIAN: Talking about the production a bit, using Andy Classen...
HELMUTH: The production was the same as always. We entered the studio prepared and we recorded over five weeks plus one week for the mastering and it was a great pleasure to work with him. He knows how metal should sound. We had a good time and you can hear the result is blowing you away, the sound is huge and heavy. But the band must be tight too because if you are not tight you will never have a good sound. It is important to practice, and be prepared when you enter the studio and that you work your ass off.
METALLIAN: Anything else you want to add?
HELMUTH” Like always, to continue to keep the devil and demonic spirit in metal music and have a listen and destroy yourself. It is fucking brutal.
And with that the man goes back into the night to worship and compose…