WIth new drummer Samaël joining the forces of Hubbath on vocals and bass, Obesyx on lead guitar and Sløth on guitar and vocals, Belzebubs resume their assault on the music scene with their unique sounding blend of Melodic Blackened Death Metal, all produced through the mind and illustrations of JP Ahonen. Building on the graphic novel Belzebus, which is described as a “trve kvlt mockumentary” and followed the everyday challenges of family life whilst also being in a black metal band, Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods brings us the sounds of that band.
Whilst this may sound like the 9 tracks on the album may be gimmicky, this album is anything but. Clocking in at an impressing 53 minutes the album opens with an atmospheric and haunting instrumental as ‘Cathedrals Of Mourning’ begins to sound and as the scream hits and the music really kicks into a very Melodic Black Metal sound, it takes no time at all to realise that the illustrations are another way of expressing what is a very impressive passion for music, especially the blackened end of the spectrum.
The drums are crisp and perfectly pitched, the solos scythe through the unrelenting sounds and the blood curdling vocals provide a thoroughly sinister edge to the sounds. The production is very clean unlike many traditional Black Metal albums, however this really allows the melodies to come to the fore and provide that wonderful contrast from the intense overall sound. There are also some hints of Progressive Death in the album that also add to the diversity and aid in being completely absorbed by the wonderous mind of the band’s creator.
‘The Crowned Daughters’ certainly explores the more acoustic and Progressive aspects of the production whilst still being equally dark and aggressive in a wonderous 9 minute adventure of epic proportions.
Illustrated bands are sometimes a difficult one to pitch, there have been some very successful ones, however the fact that JP Ahonen has created an album fit for both the music market and also the graphic novel market is full testament to the genius brain and broadly opens the full scope for the Belzebubs.
This is a solidly impressive Progressive and Atmospheric Blackened Metal album, which stands up to the highest scrutiny on its own, let alone when people actually realise the back story. Now im off to order the graphic novel whilst I continue to listen to the album!
Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods is released April 26th 2019 via Century Media
- Cathedrals Of Mourning (6:19)
- The Faustian Alchemist (4:14)
- Blackened Call (3:43)
- Acheron (7:32)
- Nam Gloria Lucifer (4:29)
- The Crowned Daughters (5:11)
- Dark Mother (9:16)
- The Werewolf Bride (4:08)
- Pantheon Of The Nightside Gods