Belhor's "Conflict and Peace Expertise" Involves the hi-dive

At first look, Denver blackened death-metal band Belhor seems sinister and ominous, like a long-lost underground group that dropped a sequence of cassette-only releases all through the ’90s earlier than fading into obscurity. The band’s moniker is a synonym for “Beliel,” a Hebrew phrase that roughly interprets to “the satan,” and a black-and-white photograph on Encyclopedia Metallum, a metallic music web site, reveals the 5 members, some shirtless, lined in what seems to be blood.

So it’s a little bit shocking that Belhor has solely been lively since 2009 and maintained a wholesome social media presence, not to mention that the musicians are approachable dudes who simply need to create the kind of music that they prefer to hearken to.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a lot of a mission,” says founding guitarist Nick Campbell with fun. “We’ve simply been making the music we wished to make and discover the correct like-minded folks to do what we had been doing. Principally, simply play gigs, create and possibly do extra stuff, or possibly not.”

Earlier than the pandemic, Belhor saved busy by commonly releasing new music, together with its 2011 debut album, I Am the Nails, and the 2015 followup, Discordia Concors. A 2020 single, “Coemergence,” is from the band’s upcoming third report, however the official launch date has been delayed since that first music got here out. “Lastly, we’re beginning to get in a mode the place we’re really making an attempt to do stuff and be inventive,” Campbell explains.

However earlier than Belhor’s members lock themselves up in a dungeon to report the whole album, the band with a penchant for brutal imagery and music is taking part in yet one more present this yr, on the hi-dive on Thursday, August 3, with Weaponizer and Abhoria.

“That’s the purpose after this — to only plug away and attempt to get a brand new launch out, as a result of it’s been perpetually,” Campbell says, including that the band’s third album will most probably see the sunshine of day someday early subsequent yr after the five-piece is completed recording.

“We simply need to go recording,” he says. “We’ve been sitting on this album for 3 years.”

By incorporating the stripped-down harshness of black metallic and inherent melodies of Swedish loss of life metallic, Belhor has nurtured a novel sound that is grow to be “angrier,” as Campbell places it, through the years. A little bit pent-up pandemic frustration definitely helps, too.

“On the time once we had been composing this new music, we had been simply coping with adult-life stuff. Issues had been simply more durable,” he explains. “I feel all of us form of felt on the final album that possibly we weren’t heavy sufficient, or too melodic or one thing. So it was like, ‘Possibly we must always attempt to get a little bit extra brutal and see the way it goes.’”

Campbell, who handles guitar duties in Belhor alongside lifelong buddy Keenan Binkley, is easygoing and very happy to speak in regards to the band’s present happenings, however he doesn’t contemplate himself or his bandmates the offended folks you may think they’re when first checking them out. They’re neither brooding nor “very black metallic,” he admits.

“We don’t actually inch that method an excessive amount of. We like extra melodic and heavier points. … I don’t know, we sort of simply wished to get a little bit extra brutal,” he says of Belhor’s newest route. “We’re additionally performing some stuff that’s a little bit extra dissonant, even possibly some doom elements thrown in there. We’re nonetheless altering it up.”

Whereas the “formulation gained’t be tremendous completely different,” he provides, “the music buildings and songwriting are just a bit bit extra mature.”

Aside from the duo of Campbell and Binkley, Zaqq Fickas mans the drum equipment whereas Colin Stubbert, who joined in 2018, is on bass. Vocalist Guillermo Martinez, previously of Canadian black-metal outfit Demiurgus, is the most recent member, coming aboard in early 2020. “Coemergence” proved to be an appetizer of what Belhor appears like with Martinez behind the mic, and followers ought to anticipate extra of the identical as soon as the subsequent batch of contemporary tracks is prepared, Campbell says.

“It’s simply time to get it out, as a result of we’ve been hanging on to it and moseying alongside,” he provides. “We’ll punch you within the face and make you progress a little bit bit, then we’ll additionally get a little bit melodic. It’s like a war-and-peace expertise.”

Belhor believes there’s “concord in dissonance,” in response to Campbell, and the band leaned closely into that mindset on Discordia Concors (the title is a Latin phrase meaning “harmonious discord” achieved by “combining disparate or conflicting components”).

“At first, it’s like, ‘Right here’s some brutal excessive metallic,’ then we begin taking part in these minor third harmonies and performing some Iron Maiden-y riffs,” he explains, including that the purpose is to maintain the music of Belhor “thrilling the entire method by.”

“I hope from begin to end, whether or not we’re taking part in thirty minutes or an hour, it’s an expertise that doesn’t get boring or boring,” he concludes.

Belhor, 8 p.m. Thursday, August 3, hi-dive, 7 South Broadway. Tickets are $12-$15.