Belphegor’s Helmuth Breaks Down New LP: ‘It’s About Witches, Drugs, Alcohol, Magic, and Insanity’
Helmuth, the frontman for Austrian “guitar music” band Belphegor, is one serious dude. Look at that picture and tell us that’s not a serious man. And yes, he’s serious about ‘Walpurgis Rites — Hexenwahn,’ his band’s forthcoming record. It’s a monster of a release that lands in stores on Oct. 20. Noisecreep spoke to Helmuth last week about the LP, and the term ‘blackened death metal,’ which is very often prescribed to his band — and a term he loathes.
“I don’t like the term blackened death metal,” Helmuth tells Noisecreep, in his almost-viscous Austrian accent. “We’re death metal with blackened influences [if you had to label us]. Belphegor is full of magic. It’s insane, it’s extreme, it’s loud, and it’s intense. It’s obscene and everything … epic. I don’t want to label it. I don’t care. It’s guitar music.”
For months, while the band was firing on all cylinders in the studio, Helmuth kept the band’s fan up to date on the madness they were crafting. So, for months we’ve known that ‘Walpurgis Rites — Hexenwahn’ (say that three times fast) was going to focus on witches, and those “who conjure and worship demons. Those who have a pact with the forces of hell through the occult. The concept deals with demonology, witchcraft, blackest erotica, and as always, the grand devil himself.” When we had Helmuth on the horn, we asked him to elaborate. Sure enough, dude stayed on script.
“It’s about witches and all,” he told us. “The Brocken Mountains, the Walpurgis rite … stuff like that. Drugs, alcohol … lots of magic inside … lots of insanity.”
But ‘which’ album of Belphegor’s is this latest opus? The heaviest? The most brutal? The most evil? The blackest? Any of those other phrases metal bands so easily cast out there to hype fans up for their new studio offering? “It’s not our best album,” Helmuth says. “It’s a Belphegor album. It’s full of magic, freedom, rebellion. The message is clear … it’s about, ‘Do what you will, make your own decisions, and follow your own path.’ And it’s about pissing on the mainstream. It’s very important for metal, since it’s aggressive, it should be rebellious. There are so many bands that, for me, are only marionettes for the business. They do the label thing … the clownery. There are few bands left that still do the aggressive stuff right. Marduk, Vader, Mayhem, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel.”
This November, Belphegor will be in the states, doing the devil’s work on a U.S. tour. In fact, they plan on touring for the foreseeable future. But Belphegor isn’t the kind of band that could do a tour like the RockStar Mayhem Fest.
“I’m not sure we’d be interested in doing stuff like that. We will see what happens,” he says. “For us, the most important thing is the show. It’s 45 minutes … a full on attack. For most people, it would be hell. The most important thing is the show, and we are there for the show.”