Guitarist/vocalist Helmuth Lehner of the Austrian blackened death metal outfit BELPHEGOR underwent "a serious and difficult" operation 16 days ago, shortly after the group completed its South American tour. As a result, all of the band's previously announced shows between now and May 2012 have been canceled.
BELPHEGOR's ninth full-length album, "Blood Magick Necromance", sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 48 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"Blood Magick Necromance" was released on January 14 in Europe and February 8 in the U.S. via Nuclear Blast Records. The album was produced by Peter Tgtgren (IMMORTAL, CELTIC FROST, HYPOCRISY, DIMMU BORGIR) at his Abyss Studios in Prlby, Sweden and mastered by Jonas Kjellgren.
"Blood Magick Necromance" was made available in four formats: a limited edition in black slipcase with metallic effect; a strictly limited Nuclear Blast mailorder edition box set, including a bondage necklace and chain (only 500 hand-numbered copies available); a limited picture gatefold LP on blood-red vinyl; LP on black vinyl; and a standard jewel case CD.
BELPHEGOR tapped two artists from Austria for artwork purposes: Helmut Wolech (a fetish photographer and former mortician) and Joachim Luetke for the magickal graphics and cover artwork.