Lord Belial - Rapture (2022)


The moment we saw the name Lord Belial in our promo inbox, we immediately thought it was a re-issue of their earlier works, but we never expected that “Rapture” would be a brand new album from this Swedish outfit. We have been fans of the band’s unique take of the genre since their 1997 release “Enter the Moonlight Gate”, which featured a more melodic approach with some female vocals and additional elements. For nearly 50 minutes the band captures their past glory with a very interesting and yet punishing release.

Opening with the blistering “Legion” and the equally punishing “On a Throne of Souls”, one would never guess that this band has been quite a while in hibernation and that it still features all its original members. The band’s sound is savage and brilliantly produced by none other than Andy LaRocque. Mixing that old-school Scandinavian Black Metal of bands like Immortal, Tartaros, Naglfar, etc. with a more melodic and melancholic edge, the band manages to deliver pummeling pieces like “Rapture of Belial”, “Destruction”, and “Belie all Gods”.

Pushing more on the melodic side, “Lux Luciferi” and “Alpha and Omega” are our favorite tracks thanks to their more atmospheric nature and killer guitar leads, particularly the later track. Not sounding dated, or stuck in the past, songs like “Infinite Darkness and Death” keep things interesting and modern sounding. While “Lamentations” will induce a doomier but equally efficient headbanging trance.

Overall, “Raptue” is one of those albums that are diverse, powerful, melodic, and excellently produced. We are quite surprised that Lord Belial had such a quality album left in the tank, as it made us dust off our old albums from the band and see how it measures up to them (spoiler: pretty high up!). If you are looking for old-school Scandinavian Black Metal with plenty of melody and some modern touches, this album will certainly surprise you.

Band: Lord Belial Album: Rapture

Label: Hammerheart Records

Release: May 27th, 2022

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 93/100

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