Lord Belial - Seal Of Belial - 2005 - Candlelight Records
1. Prolusio: Acies Sigillum 2. Sons Of Belial 3. Chariot Of Fire 4. Absymal Hate 5. Legio Inferi 6. Mark Of The Beast 7. Armageddon Revelation 8. Scythe Of Death
Sweden's black cloaked devils are back from the ritual, this time releasing their fifth album to date, a hate filled charge of extreme blasphemy entitled "Seal Of Belial". This album was originally released on Regain Records in 2004 and was released domestically by Candlelight Records (like so many albums in the past). I was a fan early on of the band's sound but at this point they have lost some focus and creativity. This record peaked interest for me because King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRoque has stepped in to produce. La Roque has been involved in some fantastic metal albums in the past and his expertise should certainly shine on this.
The album's opener, "Prolusio: Acies Sigillum", is an atmospheric introduction to the album, a rather ambient spoken word passage that reminds me of Hypocrisy or the poetic portions of Cradle Of Filth. Soon the song moves into faster realms, capturing the early sounds of the band. Things get rather muddy on "Sons Of Belial" and "Chariot Of Fire", reminding me of how lost this band sounds today. Both of these cuts continue at the same pace with very little variance whatsoever. "Abysmal Hate" turns things around with some good melody and a great dose of solos running everywhere. Highlight of the second half is probably "Legio Inferr" with its mix of atmosphere and melody while still retaining the blastbeats.
Fans of the band's discography as a whole should find this another worthy effort. Parts of the band's catalogue appears throughout the record, even including a re-recording of the band's "Scythe Of Death".
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details