Interview With Helmuth
By Peter Atkinson
Photos from https://www.facebook.com/belphegor
It takes a tough hombre to survive for more than two decades in the extreme metal underground. And Helmuth Lehner – or just Helmuth, if you please – is a tough hombre to be sure. As frontman, guitarist and driving force behind Austria’s self-described “diabolical death musick” deviants Belphegor, he’s kept the band going through myriad lineup changes, injuries that prompted the departures of bassist Barth in 2006 and co-founding guitarist Sigurd in 2007, and his own brush with death in 2011 after contracting typhoid fever during a South American tour in support of the Blood Magick Necromance album.
After a year-long struggle to get himself back in fighting shape, Helmuth and Belphegor were back at it – albeit it a bit less rigorously. In late 2012, the band slowly began working on what became their 10th album Conjuring The Dead with Hate Eternal mainman Erik Rutan at his Mana Recording Studios in Florida. The album, which finds Belphegor not losing one iota of their brutality or depravity, was issued in early August.
A few weeks prior to Conjuring’s release, in responses to e-mailed questions, Helmuth offered the following about Belphegor’s endurance, his own return from death’s door and the new album’s celebration of “Diabolical Death Metal.” The ALL CAPS and creative spellings are his own.