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Music / Belphegor

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Belphegor is an Austrian blackened death metal band formed in 1991. Initially known as Betrayer, they changed their name in 1992 after only recording one demo under their original name. Ever since then, they've built a dedicated following and have become arguably the largest death metal band to come out of Austria. They are well-known for their blisteringly fast sound, explosive live shows, and morbid lyrical themes. After releasing the demo Bloodbath in Paradise in 1993, they released their debut EP Obscure and Deep in 1994, with their first album The Last Supper following in 1995. The following year, original vocalist Maxx left the band, with guitarist and frontman Helmuth Lehner taking over vocal duties in addition to the guitar, a position he has held ever since.


With Lehner now the creative force behind the band, their second album Blutsabbath was released in 1997, which showcased more black metal elements than their debut, essentially creating a 50/50 split between death and black metal. After taking three years to release their third album Necrodaemon Terrorsathan, they began to release albums on a constant basis, with a new release following every year-and-a-half all the way up until 2012, when they went on a brief hiatus due to Lehner contracting typhoid fever on tour. Nevertheless, they soldiered on, but have had larger gaps between albums since. Due to their constant touring and work ethic, they have garnered a reputation as one of the most dedicated bands in death metal, and it doesn't look like they'll be going away anytime soon.

The band is currently wrapping up production on their upcoming 12th studio album, which is set to be released sometime in 2022.


Current members:

  • Helmuth Lehner - guitar, lead vocals (1992-present, 1996-present)
  • Serpenth - bass, backing vocals (2006-present)
  • Molokh - guitar (2021-present)

Past members:

  • Maxx - bass, lead vocals (1992-1996)
  • Chris - drums (1992-1996)
  • Sigurd - lead guitar (1992-2007)
  • Mario "Marius" Klausner - bass, vocals (1996-2001)
  • Barth - bass, vocals (2002-2006)
  • Tomasz "Nefastus" Helberg - drums (2005-2006, 2009)
  • Morluch - guitar (2008-2009)
  • Simon "BloodHammer" Schilling - drums (2016-2018)


Studio Discography:

  • Obscure and Deep (1994) - EP
  • The Last Supper (1995)
  • Blutsabbath (1997)
  • Necrodaemon Terrorsathan (2000)
  • Lucifer Incestus (2003)
  • Goatreich - Fleshcult (2005)
  • Pestapokalypse VI (2006)
  • Bondage Goat Zombie (2008)
  • Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn (2009)
  • Blood Magick Necromance (2011)
  • Conjuring the Dead (2014)
  • Totenritual (2017)

Belphegor and their music provide examples of the following:

  • Contemptible Cover: Big time, with the covers for their first two albums sticking out as especially disturbing.
  • Death Metal: Blackened death metal, to be exact. Their lyrics and aesthetics are far more in line with the black metal scene, though Helmuth disputes this, unsurprising as he himself refers to their music as "diabolic death metal".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Their debut EP and The Last Supper contain very few black metal elements and are far closer in sound to the Florida death metal scene at the time, despite them being from Europe. Part of this is due to them being the only releases with their original vocalist Maxx, whose voice sounds completely different from Helmuth's.
  • Eldritch Abomination: "Apophis - Black Dragon", coupled with Time Abyss
  • Fanservice: Frequently invoked in their artwork and music videos. The album cover for Lucifer Incestus features naked woman circled around Satan, and the music video for "Baphomet" features a coven of naked witches, for instance. However, there's also plenty of Fan Disservice, including graphic lyrical descriptions of perverse sexual acts and (obviously digitally-altered) artwork of women with nails driven through their breasts.
  • Gorn: Featured heavily in their live shows and in a bit more of a literal sense than usual in their lyrics. There's also the video for "Impaled Upon the Tongue of Sathan", which features a bloodsoaked naked woman dressed as Baphomet stuffing and driving nails into what appears to be the butchered remains of animals.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: "Apophis - Black Dragon" is a standout example with its mix of Enochian, Latin, and German lyrics.
  • Gratuitous German: Every now and then, song titles and lyrics slip into Helmuth's native tongue.
  • Guttural Growler: Helmuth's default vocal style, made even more pronounced by his Vocal Evolution after contracting and being treated for typhoid fever in 2012.
  • I Am the Band: Helmuth Lehner, who is the sole songwriter, tracks all of the guitars, and runs the band as his alone. He is also the only member to have played on all their studio albums.
  • Industrial Metal: They tap into this a few times. Most notably, "Sexdictator Lucifer", "Der Geistertreiber", and "Discipline Through Punishment".
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: A frequent lyrical theme. While a lot of it is based around BDSM, there's still some even more extreme imagery. A good example can be found in "Diaboli Virtus in Lumbar Est":
    Bloodsoacked eyes - shattered limbs
    Genitortured - scalped and maimed
    Necrobloodfuck - torn out cunts
    Revel in death - their flesh is no longer enough
  • Metal Scream: Maxx used Type 2 and 3 screams similar to those from the Florida death metal scene while Helmuth predominantly uses deep, demonic Type 2s with an occasional Type 3 coupled with Serpenth's backing shrieks.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Consistently the status of their secondary guitarists (as they have not had a full-time one since 2009) and also frequently the status of their drummers, who are seldom full-time members even when they do record with the band.
  • Revolving Door Band: They almost never go more than 16-24 months without losing a drummer (and they have not had a full-time one since Simon Schilling quit in 2018), and they have not had a full-time secondary guitarist since 2009.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: One of the band's defining characteristics is their abundance of Satanic and anti-religious lyrics. Although this is nothing new for black metal-influenced bands, they rely especially heavy on these themes, to the point that some people have wondered if the members are actually Satanists. However, Lehner has stated that the band members actually lean more towards atheism.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lehner is heavily inspired by the works of Marquis de Sade, which shows in the lyrics. "Justine: Soaked In Blood" is, itself, about the titular character from de Sade's novel.
    • "Rise to Fall and Fall to Rise" is, according to the liner notes of Blood Magick Necromance, about Aleister Crowley.
  • Special Guest: Glen Benton and Attila Csihar both perform guest vocals on "Legions of Destruction". Unsurprising, given that Deicide is one of the faces of Satanic-themed death metal along with Incantation, God Dethroned, and Belphegor themselves, and that Mayhem also relied on similar lyrical content on their most famous material and are one of the faces of black metal in general.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Veneratio Diaboli — I Am Sin" is softer than most songs on Walpurgis Rites — Hexenwahn, both musically and lyrically. Most of the songs on the album are brutal, blasphemous, and gory, but it's not as heavy as most of them and paints Satan in an unusually positive light with very little criticism of Christianity (by the band's standards, anyway).
  • Vocal Evolution: Helmuth's vocals became noticeably deeper and more guttural after Blood Magick Necromance, partially due to his above-mentioned surgery in 2012.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Helmuth almost always spells "fuck" with two "k"s.