Review Summary: Bloodrayne 2: Revenge of the Blastbeat“We kill people, Loken is sucking blood out of people, she fucks people and is naked, and the entertainment is very sexy and violent.”
For those of you unfamiliar with Uwe Boll, allow me to explain the significance of this quote. Uwe Boll is a director who has grown infamous for adapting mediocre video games into even worse movies that are completely devoid of substance and he thinks his films are utterly brilliant works of art. He’s known for having butchered Bloodrayne
, Alone in the Dark
, and House of the Dead
, among others with his filmographical atrocities. This quote, to me, exemplifies everything wrong with his movies and it seems to be what he thinks makes them masterpieces. What does this have to do with Belphegor’s Bondage Goat Zombie
? Well, everything. You see, if Uwe Boll were to make a blackened death metal album, it might sound more than just a little bit like this.
I really don’t know what the dudes in Belphegor were thinking going into this, but let me tell you that they came out with all sorts of wrong. Most of the aspects of their sound are still firmly in place: tremolo picked melodies (lots of them), groovy breaks, Nile-influenced chord progressions and enough blastbeats to give a normal person a stroke. When a band has developed a sound that is relatively unique and gets it down to a science, you can’t really expect them to put out anything too bad, right?
Wrong. This album, like any Uwe Boll movie, starts shaky, has a really boring middle section, a violent and predictable climax, a sex scene thrown in there somewhere (I’ll get to that later) and an ending that leaves you thinking “Why the fu
ck did I just waste my time with this?”. The material is still catchy, but the riffing seems to have lost a lot of the dark and epic feel from their previous albums in favor of a more bouncy and candy-like catchiness. Now, if they executed this well, I’d be all for it; some change would be good since most of their albums are pretty similar anyways. Unfortunately however, all of the faster songs blend together and the slower songs…well, they really suck.
Belphegor has been known to use rather basic verse-chorus-verse song structures most of the time, and this album is no different. Like I said before, the faster songs are all pretty much the same: minor scale melodies, some mid-paced parts to “balance” it out, shred solos with little variety and lots of blasturbation. Not too different from their other material, right? Well, no, at its core it really isn’t, but their previous material thrived on interesting counterpoint harmonies, use of varying intervals between the guitars even if they were playing the same melody, extremely dark and epic melodies, evil doom-laden slow tracks and at least somewhat varied structures. You know, that little thing called variety. The concept of variety is pretty much abandoned on this album, in favor of an extremely basic approach to each phrase: a simple melody with the other guitar playing an octave or major sixth below it, repetitive drum beats (guess which type, I dare you!) and occasional groovy rhythms; AKA by the numbers blackened death metal. This formula becomes completely trite after the first two songs of this album, and to be blunt, with the exception of the title track none of these songs really stand all that well on their own anyway.
“Nudity is very important for horror, it tells you we are not safe.”
Uwe Boll has been known to put pointless and awkward sex scenes into his films simply for the sake of having them. Seemingly taking hints from this mastermind (har har), Belphegor didn’t neglect the “sex scene” aspect of a …death metal album… and the song “Sexdictator Lucifer” certainly shows this fact well. The entire song consists of two-chord riffing, slow groovy drumming and…orgasm samples. Yeah, that’s right, samples of chicks climaxing. Upon hearing this song, I thought “This has to be a joke, right? There’s no way this band is serious anymore”. I’m thinking it’s supposed to be some sort of death metalled-up porn music, but that’s no excuse for how stupid the song is. That’s what the entire album feels like: an unintentional parody of their old style. For crying out loud, just look at the album title!
Simply put, Bondage Goat Zombie
is an example of how far a band can plummet after releasing consistently solid material for such a long time. It’s not like they’ve completely changed their sound and made a joke album (F.O.A.D.
, anyone?); Bondage Goat Zombie
’s posturing seems completely serious. This makes the fact that the album is so bland, repetitive, trite and downright boring completely inexcusable. I would most certainly recommend to anyone looking to check out Belphegor that they get any of their other albums before this one, and that it’s best to avoid this album altogether if at all possible. Oh how the mighty have fallen…
“I love the idea and we did good with the sperm zombie.”
…No, Uwe. No you didn’t.