Belphegor - Helmuth
18/03/05 || Global Domination
Old staff-member Josh Thorne interviewed Helmuth for the old GD-site, and that’s all you get for a fucken intro.
Global Domination: First off, I’d like to thank you dudes for taking the time out to chat with us at Global Domination. How are things in Austria treating you these days?
Helmut: You´re welcome man! Everything’s okay here, we are already back from our headliner tour through Europe and it was fantastic. We had a lot of killer shows and a good time. In about 8 days we are goin’ to play our first summer festival this year.
It’s a known fact that Belphegor began as a very underground black metal band, in the sense that your music seemed more influenced by bands such as Darkthrone and Mayhem rather than, say, Dimmu Borgir. However, Belphegor has now morphed into a full-on death metal band. Would you see it as a gradual transformation or something that just happened all at once?
I don´t give a shit. We’ve been around for so long, and it’s still fun – the feeling to produce hard music is still in us. I’d say we are even more ambitious than ever before. I don’t really care about all the definitions, really, I don’t like to label our music. We adore death metal and the cold highspeed atmosphere of black metal, and that’s what we’ve tried to melt and perfect for more than a decade. The variety is for sure one of our strengths on the new album, and let me tell you that we are very proud of this death monster.
Now, a question I’ve been wanting to ask since I first discovered youn guys… what exactly IS a Belphegor?
Belphegor represents the demon of discovery and of genius invention. Since he was living in caves, the high priests threw down human carcasses through shafts to keep him mild and tame. He is also called the demon of sloth. He once briefly walked the earth in a woman’s body, but he vanished again as quickly as he could and prefers life in the hell of fire. Belphegor suits us very well, and since 1993 we’ve tortured our instruments under this demonic banner.
Congrats on your latest release, “Goatreich Fleshcult”. What was the writing process like for this record, especially considering the short amount of time between this and your last release, “Lucfier Incestus”?
Thanks a lot man! The band went into the studio with much more experience. It was so fantastic to create the new songs and we got a lot of really positive responses from all the magazines, radio stations and metallers. We are pleased that so many people all around the world like this album as much as we do.
As I said before, it seems that musically you’ve morphed into more of a death metal band, but I also get the feeling that you’ve still retained some of the black metal spirit of the first three releases. Is that an accurate statement?
No, I cant agree with that, it’s typical Belphegor and progressing as a band is the first priority for us. For this album we used many leads and the usual lower tuned death riffs and twin guitar scales. One of our trademarks and strengths is to integrate cold, aggressive melodies into our songs, while still maintaining the brutality.
This next question is a 2 part question. First of all, where did you record “Goatreich Fleshcult”? The sound on this record is unlike any other death metal release I’ve heard.
Thanks for your appreciacion, and yes we worked and practiced hard on our instruments and as a band. We recorded at Mastersound Studios in Germany. Alex Krull & his crew are great people and the conditions for recording were ideal. We’ve learned a lot from Alex and his people, especially during the recording of “Lucifer Incestus” and we were able to use a lot of that on “Goatreich Fleshcult” as well.
Secondly, was the massive yet organic sound you ended up with, the sound you were going for all along?
Yeah, we got fucking hot and in a good mood to record our most aggressive material. I think we have successfully blended ultra blastbeats and heaviness together as one, and the compositions are much more varied than before. We added some archaic metal elements and lots of new guitar scales. This album is really like the soundtrack to the end of the world, honestly.
Do you have anything written for the next album, and if so, how does it compare to the rest of Belphegor’s material?
Yes we have already begun the songwriting for album #6. With every album we try to go a step forward in things like musical intensity and dynamics. Sigfurd, Barth, Nefastus and I wanted to offer the best for us and the folks who buy our albums and who support us. It’s always a big challenge when we start with the songwriting but we are addicted to this hellride! Hatework number 6 will again be a blasting metal piece! After our Latin American tour with Marduk in October we’re going to enter the studio in November. The records will be divided into 4 sessions and last till the beginning of Feburary ’06, which means that the release date for the new album will be May ’06.
As far as touring goes, will you guys be making it over to the U.S. any time soon?
No idea. It’s a big wish for Belphegor, but that’s a matter of our US promoter/label…. unfortunately we have less contact with serious booking agents over there.
What does Belphegor do for a living when you’re not blasting the masses with death metal?
We are old school metal heads, first and foremost. Music has absolute priority and I could not imagine my life without it.
What cd’s have been running through your stereo as of late?
At the moment I am listening to Slayer “South of Heaven” on Vinyl format! One of the best live bands ever and in 8 days we are goin´ to play together with them for the second time on a summer festival! Fucking SLAYYYYER!
You’re now on Napalm Records in North America, but the first 3 releases were all issued through World War 3/Mercenary Musik. It certainly seems as though Napalm is promoting you guys much more than your previous label. How did the original deal with Napalm come about?
Sorry, I am not interested to talk about labels/business things here. We feel good with Napalm, they do a good job, and pushed up “Lucifer Incestus” and “Goatreich Fleshcult”. Unfortunately they are not able to call on good tours but we’ll see what future and album #6 will bring, and if we’ll put another album in Napalm’s hands. At the moment we are fully stretched with the promotions for “Goatreich Fleshcult”, that’s why I can’t say anything concrete now. In the next few months we will come together and decide as a band, what we will do with album #6 and with whom.
Have you ever seen necro porn?
Good question, who hasn’t?
Any last words for the Global Domination readers?
Thanks for the support! All metalheads should check out the new album! Thanks for the interview and see you all in the pit!