|©1995 No Fashion
1. Hymn of the Ancient Misanthropic Spirit of the Forest
2. Satan Divine
3. Grace of God
4. The Ancient Slumber
5. Into the Frozen Shadows
6. The Art of Dying
7. Osculum Obscenum
8. Mysterious Kingdom
9. In the Light of the Fullmoon
10. Lilith - Demonic Queen of the Black Light
Sweden's Lord Belial rode onto the scene courtesy of the mid 90s wave of Scandinavian black metal who had little to do with the controversial Norwegian scene next door, but had appropriately evil imagery and album titles. Or, in the case of Kiss the Goat, adovocates of Man On Goat love. If eharmony existed in those days, I'd actually say it was the worst profile matching ever on all twenty-seven levels of compatibility.
Regardless, Lord Belial never really caught the mass attention of black metal fans, despite being fairly competent in this genre. Their sound is a familiar blend of Swedish melodic death metal tendencies with stronger black metal tendencies. For fans of the second tier metal scene, one point of comparison might be Naglfar, who also never quite caught on with a wider audience. In fact, do you know of anyone who goes around telling everyone that either Naglfar or Lord Belial is his or her favorite band? Probably not. Kiss the Goat (and subsequent releases) is pretty good, and definitely worth a listen if you enjoy this sort of thing, but it won't exactly restructure your worldview or make you want to pick up a guitar and sing hymns about farm animals. Evil hymns, that is.
To be honest, I do actually enjoy Kiss the Goat. The musicianship is solid. In particular, bassist Anders "Bloodlord" Backelin has sneaky, noodling lines that add a little extra spice to the songs. The band has both speedy tunes and slower paced ones, ensuring the entire album has a little bit of dynamics. The band isn't afraid to sneak in touches of melodicism, though the vocals stick to the realm of black metal shrieking and rasping. But for whatever reason, Kiss the Goat never helped establish Lord Belial as a contending act who commanded widespread attention. Perhaps people just felt Dissection did it better.
Regardless, Kiss the Goat is strongly recommended for those who are curious to dig a little deeper into the mid 90s black metal scene and find some overlooked good albums.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 01/2010
|©1997 House Of Kicks/Death Records
1. Enter The Moonlight Gate
2. Unholy Spell Of Lilith
3. Path With Endless Horizons
5. Black Winter Blood-bath
6. Forlorn In Silence
7. Belial--Northern Prince Of Evil
8. Realm Of A Thousand Burning Souls (Part I)
While not registering high on the list of "Orginal Black Metal Bands from Sweden", Lord Belial can stake their claim to being a tight, solid evil little band. You're not going to hear anything revolutionary or downright unique in their music; in fact, it follows along the same lines as perhaps Dissection or other straight guitar, non-atmospheric bands. However, that said, it is pretty darned enjoyable, especially through headphones late at night. Fredrik Nordström's production is vibrant and gives the chaos some semblance of structure, greatly enhancing the overall feel. Lord Belial also uses occasional cellos and female vocals in a way that doesn't overshadow the insanity but enhance it, as they do in "Lamia" or the title track. You also get some strong thrash influence on the album closer "Realm of a Thousand Burning Souls (Part I)". Again, not the album that will redefine a genre, but rather compliment the black metal collection you already have.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 08/1998