Belphegor Front Man Helmuth Discusses New Album "Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn"
Blackened death metallers Belphegor are no strangers to controversial subject matter dealing with sexuality and the occult, as can be seen just by looking at the cover of an album like "Lucifer Incestus." Their new album "Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn" continues the themes of witchcraft and keeps up their particular brand of melody infused metal. The disc dropped in the U.S. on October 20th via Nuclear Blast Records, and was accompanied by a new music video for the track "Der Geistertreiber." Belphegor's vocalist Helmuth spoke with me about the new album, video, and the band's tour starting in November 2009.
xFiruath: Let’s start with a brief history of the band for anyone who isn’t familiar with Belphegor.
Helmuth: We started back in 1993. Obviously we have all our old shit and we just try to get better. The most important thing is the music you know, to experiment with the songs. Add in new elements here and there. It’s always important to keep things fresh.
xFiruath: Speaking of experimentation, what is different about your new album “Walpurgis Rites – Hexenwahn” from what we’ve heard before?
Helmuth: I don’t compare the albums, it’s just about the music. Musically there are a lot of melodies and stuff like that. We did some samples to make it more atmospheric. I’m really proud of it.
xFiruath: Is there a specific concept or story behind the songs on the album?
Helmuth: It’s about witches, and as always the devil and sex. All the offensive stuff. All the insanity that followed the ceremonies. The album is full of magic and surrounded by chaos.
xFiruath: I’ve listened through the album a couple of times and I think my favorite track was probably “Enthralled Toxic Sabbath.” Do you have a particular favorite track from “Walpurgis Rites – Hexenwahn?”
Helmuth: I don’t really know if there is one. For me each song has its strong moments, so I can’t really mention one.
xFiruath: Where was the album recorded?
Helmuth: We recorded it in Germany and Austria.
xFiruath: You guys recorded a music video for the track "Der Geistertreiber,” where was that done and how did you feel about the finished product?
Helmuth: We went to a cottage in the mountains for a few days. It was the first time with a professional camera and everything. It’s a good video, it’s really amazing and everything. A great video for a great song.
xFiruath: What do you have going as far as tour dates in the near future?
Helmuth: We tour all the time you know. Starting November we’re going to the U.S. and Mexico. We’ll be touring for a few months.
xFiruath: Which albums do you find yourself listening to lately?
Helmuth: I listen mostly to the old shit. All the good metal.
xFiruath: Is Belphegor the only band you are with right now?
Helmuth: It’s all about Belphegor. No time for other stuff you know.
xFiruath: What bands influenced you when you first started playing music and got into metal?
Helmuth: One of my many influences was Eddie Van Halen and all the good guitarists like Stevie Ray. Yngwie Malmsteen is one of my old influences. I’m very open ended when it comes to music. It’s all about guitar music in my opinion.
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