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An uncompromising Austrian blackened death metal group, Belphegor emerged in 1993 from the ashes of the like-minded Betrayer. Led by vocalist/guitarist Helmuth Lehnerl, the band issued their debut album, The Last Supper, in 1995. Their overtly satanic, European-style black metal eventually found favor overseas, resulting in a string of internationally-charting efforts like Walpurgis Rites – Hexenwahn (2008), Blood Magick Necromance (2010), Conjuring the Dead (2014), and Totenritual (2017). Belphegor released their twelfth studio album, Devils, in 2022. Formed in 1991 under the moniker Betrayer by vocalist/bassist Maxx, guitarists Helmuth and Sigurd, and drummer Chris, the band quickly made inroads in their Austrian homeland. They adopted the name Belphegor (one of the seven princes of Hell) in 1993 and issued a demo, Bloodbath in Paradise. Maxx left the group shortly after that, allowing Helmuth to take over vocal duties. A re-tooled lineup that saw the addition of bassist Mario "Marius" Klausner converged in 1995 to release the band's first studio album, The Last Supper, which was reissued by Lethal Records -- it was later reissued by World War III Records with six bonus tracks (some from their rare 1994 Obscure and Deep EP). Blutsabbath (1997) and Necrodaemon Terrorsathan (2000) were released via Last Episode Records, and in 2003 Belphegor inked a deal with Napalm for their fourth studio long-player, Lucifer Incestus. Arriving in 2005, Goatreich – Fleshcult would be the band's last outing for the label, as the following year saw them move to Nuclear Blast and issue Pestapokalypse VI – by this time, Helmuth was the last original member remaining. Released in 2008, Bondage Goat Zombie was partly inspired by the writings of the Marquis de Sade, while 2009's Walpurgis Rites – Hexenwahn cited the history of witches as its inspiration. Both albums appeared on the German and Austrian charts, with the latter effort racking up sales in the US. Blood Magick Necromance (2011) followed a similar narrative path and was the first Belphegor release to chart in the United States. 2014's acclaimed Conjuring the Dead, which Erik Rutan recorded at Mana Recording Studios in Florida, became the band's highest-charting effort to date. The merciless and bludgeoning Totenritual appeared in 2017, followed by the equally unrelenting Devils, the extreme metal veterans' twelfth long-player, in 2022.
© Eduardo Rivadavia & James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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