Lord Belial – Rapture

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Having forged supreme black metal music for three decades, Swedish black metal act Lord Belial has made a great comeback album after fourteen years of silence. Lord Belial brought attention to the Scandinavian scene through the shimmering qualities and the aggressive trademark introduced on the debut album 'Kiss The Goat (Sic Transit Gloria Mundi'). With landmark albums like 'Enter The Moonlight Gate' and 'Unholy Crusade' Lord Belial became a force to be reckoned with. Despite the lineup changes the band progressed and continued to released excellent outputs mid-career. The 9th album 'Rapture' reunites the siblings Micke Backelin (drums), Thomas Backelin (guitars, vocals) and Niclas Pepa Green (guitars).

The captivating grasp of their blackened aggression once again proves the shrewd songwriting skills of the trio. The opening track ‘Legion’ sees the band return to its roots. The heavy effect of the reverb drums and the guitars capture swift tremolo-picked riffs and the lightning speed blast beats unleash rapid fury. The song arrangements are at their peak and the raspy vocals are spot on, thus the incredible intensity marks a triumphant return to form. There’s a scathing remark in the tone of the vocals and the guitars create the piercing, icy atmosphere of a blizzard. While the drums shift between different tempos, the coherent framework of  ‘On a Throne of Souls’ is instantly distinctive and brimming with dark twists and fast thundering percussion with melodies aplenty. ‘Rapture’ is a different beast that combines the traditional elements of the past albums. Lord Belial’s new album is full of scathing riffs and sharp tremolos, where each riff swirls like the howling wind.

In its bewitching achievement, the vocals invoke a majestic feeling of epic quality, and the mastery of the craftsmanship is displayed at furious paces. ‘Rapture of Belial’ transports you across frozen realms with the blistering speed of the percussion followed by the lead guitars. Riffs drip scorching melodies as acoustic guitar layers make the whole range cascade like a glacier. Every now and then rhythm guitars retain the cold freezing aura. The aggressive proportions of the harsh vocals are perfectly fitted with the fast patterns of the drums and there is a persistent abundance of tremolos that provide a cold backdrop.

Destruction’ breaks out like blizzard fury and the drums wreak sonic havoc offering a perfect blend of unrelenting blasts beats and rampant percussion attacks. Lord Belial delivers a perfect atmosphere of otherworldly melodies on songs like ‘Belie All Gods’ which is composed of epic guitar textures and a majestic choral that evolves into a dark melody. The composition and songwriting are beyond the realm of experience, drawing you to the majesty of the 90s black metal.

The thundering guitars and the drums are brought into a booming roar utilized by the forceful effect of the rhythm that seems to maneuver between the constant barrage of tremolos and monolithic guitar lines. The track ‘Evil Incarnate’ and ‘Lux Luciferi’ surpasses anything the band has achieved in the last decade. Lord Belial’s expertise in sculpting sharp tremolos leaves you to marvel at their splendid works. The guitars create a chilling atmosphere with throat tearing rasps  showcasing its own splendor. The song arrangements would include some keyboard passages accompanied by excellent lead guitar work that is used to build into an emotive quality.

Infinite Darkness and Death’ is filled with a foreboding sense of majestic darkness. The song features dark sinister melodies and ominous vocal rasps. The album doesn’t only contains catchy melodies, but is also brimming with razor-sharp riffs. The music builds on the dark nature of the elements that flow together as if they are woven from the dark mantle of the night. On ‘Rapture’ Lord Belial crafts a masterwork of raw/melodic black metal.The songwriting stands as a testament to their devotion to the genre.

The blackened ferocity continues to give the song composition a majestic feel where the guitars make great use of the strings resulting in many memorable passages throughout the album that spans fifty minutes in duration. The endless onslaught of blast beats offers such a grand spectacle, ‘Rapture’ is a lesson in black metal masterfully executed by the trio. The unnerving aggression that brings bands like Vinterland, Dissection and Dawn to one’s thought. With songs like ‘Alpha and Omega’ revealing the sheer quality of the lead guitars and the impressive drumming work, there is an immense talent in crafting some of the most catchy guitar harmonies as the towering guitar solos make the most of this beautiful song.

The album’s instrumental closure ‘Lamentations’  is a massive wall of sound which brings the grandeur to climax with crushing drums and guitar arrangements that create layers of melodic chords and lead guitars, Lord Belial underpinning the somber melancholic melody  has always remained the aesthetic foundation of the band’s musical art.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 10/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 10/10
  • Mix / Production 10/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 10/10
  • Originality 9/10
9.8

Lord Belial’s 9th album is a masterpiece that sets a paradigm shift to the old classic ways. This comes as a high recommendation for those who seek a true experience of classic black metal that falls somewhere between the raw 90s style and the icy majesty of the pure Scandinavian black metal.

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