Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 9/20/2005
The Seal of Belial
posted on 10/2005 By:
Inevitably, when I receive a black metal album, I always think about the production and commercial values that it possesses. In my experience as a BM fan and music journalist, the style at hand garners negative feedback mainly in regards to the two fields mentioned above. And, if we’re bothering to judge Lord Belial on those concepts alone, then affable they are not. However, once merit enters the scene, things do start to change. While The Seal of Belial is admittedly second-rate BM spewed forth from one of the epicenters of the style, it’s better than half of what I’ve encountered since I endured my metal rites of passage (growing long hair, not bathing regularly, pledging to drink only shitty beer, et cetera).
Thus, citing my preceding thoughts, Lord Belial are accessible for those who favor seasoned production, above-average musicianship, and decent songwriting skills. After I finished grappling with the band’s initial outpouring, the comparison floodgates opened wide in turn spilling – oddly enough – Amon Amarth. Listen intently to numbers such as “Mark of the Beast” and “Armageddon Revelation” for the uncanny similarities, which are serendipitous I might add. As far-fetched as it may seem, oftentimes the group sound like a more menacing, black metal version of their fellow Swedes. Though the disc rarely offers moments of undisputed brilliance, there are cool benchmarks that rise up occasionally. Plus, individuals who profess familiarity with Lord Belial’s catalog will recognize “Scythe of Death,” as it appeared unmolested on 2003’s Scythe of Death EP, which helps nudge the album ever closer to the fifty-minute mark.
I believe slickly-produced black metal has a fair share of worth, and I’m convinced that some people would prefer The Seal of Belial to an album recorded, with a Talkboy, in the dungeon of an ancient castle. Contrarily, the ideas that manifest themselves on this recording aren’t as fresh and titillating as others I’ve heard in the form of, say, Drudkh, Negura Bunget, or a bevy of U.S.B.M. Granted, though, the stylistic differences do undermine my recent criticism somewhat. Still, Lord Belial are talented insomuch that their music is enjoyable, it’s (sorta) widely available, and I’d much rather endorse flocking to this than Atreyu or other shit in the same vein.
Thanks, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
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