On February 8, Blood Magick Necromance — the forthcoming album from Austrian blackened death metal outfit Belphegor — will make its way onto record store shelves here in America, so this week, I took some time out of my busy schedule to talk to Helmuth — who similarly took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me.
I’m going to say this right up front: Belphegor are an experience. Often, a punishing one that bludgeons the soul and senses, but something that should be experienced. The band is so severe, so sinister, and flat-out evil. Given they’re from Austria, I had something of a hard time making out everything Helmuth — Belphegor’s frontman and guitarist — had to say. But I did understand most of it. Like when I asked him about getting groupie action. I think our chat may have made him uncomfortable.
“For me, its one of the most important things, you know? Eating, good music, sex, the devil and everything. We are known for chaos and excess and everything,” Helmuth tells Gun Shy Assassin in response. “We are not like these bands that go on the stage and hide in the tour bus. We are always around, drinking a lot, taking drugs, and all this funny shit…it is not about groupies, it is about meeting some peoples. It’s perfect. I like to travel around, I like sightseeing. Playing music…its one of the best things in my life.”
But are American chicks easier to get than European chicks? “It always depends on the situation,” says Helmuth, before there was ten seconds of silence. “I don’t talk about this so much.”
Sorry dude. But what does Helmuth talk about? The new album, which he says he started writing more than a year ago. “We made a lot of experiments,” he said of Blood Magick Necromance. “We added some structures here and some new structures…and explored the music and everything. We took the next step, and we are pleased with the new album — it is strong. It’s a big progression, when you compare it with the last albums and all. We’ve never changed our sound drastically, but we always try to reach the next step…get more tight, better as musicians and stuff like that. The music is everything.”
This spring, Belphegor will be touring in support of the new disc with Sepultura; that trek kicks off April 18 in Toronto. Next month, they’ll be out on the road with Deicide, Neuraxis, Pathology, and more. The band also recently released a video for their track “Impaled Upon the Tongue of Sathan.” I asked Helmuth to describe it: “It’s full of blood, possession…it’s fine if some people are offended. It’s about rebellion and resistance, and taking your own path — making your own decisions. Its the most important thing in life. Its about freedom.”
And the new record? In the past, the band have focused on certain thematic elements in their songs. Is the same true for Blood Magick Necromance?
“The title says everything,” Helmuth tells me, “I don’t want to talk always about lyrics and stuff like that because people are always misinterpreting stuff like that. Its full of spells, incantations, and magic.”