Bellgrave
Back As King

I’m not quite sure that to make of Bellgrave’s Back As King. The internet tells me this German veteran act started as a doom/death band back in the early 00s and then turned onto a sort of hard rock death/doom band with some still sort of gravelly semi death metal vocals (courtesy of Danny Hoff, who left and  just rejoined the band for this album). However, I can’t find hardly any of the band’s earlier recordings, other than 2008s Evil Mood (Danny’s last album before he left i guess), which appears to be after the transition to hard rock.

Anyway, what we have here is a weird sort of death metal, death ‘n’ roll, hard rock, doom combination, that does none of them very well. It’s a weird mix of Gorefest’s worst album, Chapter 13, SentencedPyogenesis, fellow German’s Crematory, Entombed’s largely awful late 90s era stuff, and psychadelic rock era Celestial Season. And yeah, its as disjointed as that sounds. Just go to the opener “Nemesis” to hear pretty well everything I described in one , all over the place song.

Danny Hoff has a gruff shout that’s like late Jan C (Gorefest) mixed with Felix Stass (Crematory) when he was doing that awkward gruff shout/growl/sing thing early in his career) and occasionally throws in some hoarse singing. There are a few keyboards. The riffs are sort of mopey death ‘n’ roll, (death ‘n’ mope?) thought they are rendered with a solid beefy, guitar tone, which is about the only good thing I really have to say.

It makes some of the songs like the title track, and effectively somber “The End of All Times” the only songs I even remotely enjoyed, some heft. And attempts to do something a little catchier like “The Return of the Gunmen”,  “Mean Black Devil” or “Dying Tunes” just fall flat. Much like the entire album

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 11th, 2022

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