Belial are a UK based Godless scourge, so you might like them. This technical death metal band are releasing double EP Nihil Est on 27th January via Siege Records, Their title means “There is nothing”, which I’m assuming has something to do with their proclaimed Godlessness. Either way, it’s a great title so a good start. Does the album live up to the title?
Belial – Nihil Est
Opening with an industrial haunting feel that always grabs my attention, In Extremis introduces the album in a very scatty, disjointed way. It’ll no doubt have many Tech Metal fans reaching for their favourite wank rag, although I personally like some order amongst the insanity, which doesn’t appear until about 2 minutes into this track. Once it does, I get a pretty euphoric feeling from the song.
Eon from the outset is more like it and is an intriguing track with the marrying of the soft piano and synth parts and the brutal heaviness creating an effective hypnotic, creepy ambience. This blends seamlessly into Naught. The initial whack of double bass and blast beats catches you a bit off guard, but it settles into a good, seriously heavy track with parts to grove too and parts to just take in all the madness.
Odium begins and you think ‘this is it, this is the track that’s going to blow me away’. And whilst it loses a bit of its impact after the intro it then builds back into a fucking insane solo and breakdown which is simply brilliant. This track is full of bits to enjoy and admire. And the same goes for In Origin. It starts off strong and has some real epic moments and is driven and direct throughout. It’s a good way to end this strong new release from a band who clearly have a fantastic future ahead of them.
As I was fortunate enough to have the first EP included, I’ll review it as well. Why the fuck not hey! Heroin Holidays opens the proceedings and I’m feeling more at home. This is more organised chaos than the majority of the new EP. The vocal is more gutteral and it’s good, soooo good. Whilst it still has the fiddly, Tech traits of the new EP, you can get deeply into it and immerse yourself in the track. This is a thoroughly enjoyable offering.
The quality continues in the form of Wraiths, which has some downright kickass grooves and an uplifting feel, it’s seriously a fucking brilliant piece of work.
Host is in parts epic, the melodies and feels created at certain points are almost unparalleled In any of their work, however the track is a bit too disjointed for me to turn these parts into a bone crushingly brilliant track. Luckily the interlude Wen saves the day with a riff that makes you hold onto your balls before introducing you to album closer Parasite.
And it’s a great way to close out the EP, summising all that is done well throughout both releases. Great riffs, huge drive from the rhythm work, good synth sounds and a vocal consistent in its deep growl and on point throughout both records.
These are incredibly clear well produced EP’s full of second to none musicianship and an ear for eerie melody. The use of samples, synths etc is well thought out and creative. When they nail it, in tracks like Heroin Holiday, Wraiths, Parasite and Odium, it is seriously nailed tight and going nowhere.
I am not saying the other tracks are bad, they aren’t, quite the opposite in fact. They are, in parts, a little chaotic for my personal taste however I think fans of this specific genre would be calling me out on that conclusion, as it’s kinda the point, but there are moments of pure brilliance in literally every song.
Just to add an extra dimension as well, when being able to appreciate them as instrumental tracks that are at the end of the EP (I’m not sure if these will be part of every release), you get a different kind of enjoyment out of them and can further appreciate the top rate musicianship on display.
Two very strong offerings. How these guys are not on the Techfest 2017 bill already is beyond me, but I’m assuming they will be after this album gets some circulation. I strongly urge Tech Death fans to be getting a copy of this pre-ordered and buy the first EP here.