From its overwrought Satanic cover art alone you just know that Swedish blackened death metal monsters Lord Belial are back with brutally melodic vengeance and, on their ninth LP Rapture, the Swedes continue in fine form with a sound that sticks to their distinctive, savage formula.
Having to follow up a definitive Swedish death/black metal classic like 1997’s Enter The Moonlight Gate is a herculean task but the malevolent quintet have done well over the last 20 years with their previous albums. Sadly, the fame achieved by fellow countrymen like Dark Funeral and Dissection has always eluded them but like the stalwarts that they are, Lord Belial soldier on in the name of Satan.
And soldier on they do! With the fastest, rawest sounds – featuring obligatory blast beats and tremolo picking – much of Rapture is an assault on the senses. Fortunately, the band know when to alter the pace, introduce synths and generally keep things interesting when needed; ultimately avoiding being just another black metal band churning out the same ol’, same old.
From start to finish, Rapture is a solid 10-song epic that will slate the bloodthirst of you ravenous metal freaks out there. Even if Lord Belial aren’t reinventing the black/death metal wheel, Rapture is yet another fine addition to an already strong discography. 7/10
Lord Belial‘s Rapture is due for release on May 27th, 2022 via Hammerheart Records.