Begrime Exemious – Primeval Satellite (Dark Descent Records, 31 August 2014)
Begrime Exemious – The Enslavement Conquest (Dark Descent Records, 04 March 2016)
Good afternoon. About three years ago, Edmonton-based filthy death metal squad Begrime Exemious ventured south across the border into these United States, in celebration of which I had dug out their album from two years prior (Visions of the Scourge) to write about it at that time. Well, there have been reports of another stirring from the north — apparently the horde is on the move again — and so it seemed like an appropriate time to share with you a few things the band has done since the last time. Ironically, the first of these was actually released just a couple of months after the previous review was published. And the other came out early last year — so by historical standards I’m actually pretty far ahead of the game by sharing that one with you now! Anyway, please direct your eyes and ears to the following — and then see the comments section for a list of cities slated for begriming.
When we discussed this band before, I had expressed an appreciation for their ability to perform such fetid music and yet to have it recorded and presented with such pristine clarity. This is still very much the case on these newer releases.
First, 2014’s Primeval Satellite is a six-song MLP (aka “mini-LP,” which by definition is somewhere midway between an EP and an LP). From the very first second of the first song (“Entrails & Barbed Wire”), all the way through the Nuclear Assault cover (“Nuclear War”) that closes the record, they spew nonstop venom and putridity. A couple personal favorites here include “Silent Observer Older than Earth” which has a somewhat slower tempo, slower riffs (some great-sounding harmonized guitar parts on occasion), and a solo at about 03:30 where it seems less like it is played by picking the strings, than like each note is painstakingly, surgically extracted from the guitar; and “Bloodworms,” especially near the beginning where you can hear some almost-but-not-quite major chords in the guitar part, in combination with some almost-but-not-quite melodic singing buried under layers of filthy acidic growling, coming across like a legion of damned souls at varying stages of decay, all singing together.
Somewhere in the interim, the band scaled back from a quintet to a quartet; whereas before there was a fulltime vocalist (and one guitarist credited with ‘additional vocals’), on ten-song LP The Enslavement Conquest, both guitarists share vocal duties. These dual vocals are sort of crusty (in both the music genre and the regular sense of the word), with one sounding like a nearly-blackened gurgle and the other a deep hoarse roar. The new, slimmed-down line-up came to prove they mean business on this album, as the entire first side (from “Cradled in Our Hands” through “Conscription Woes”) is fast and furious from the get-go, attacking relentlessly. Similarly, while the first (“Subconscious Nemesis”) and last (“When the Vultures Leave”) songs on side two might slow down just a tad (the former features a guitar solo that sort of floats in meanderingly midway through, settling into a mid-tempo groove from then on, while the latter mellows out just a bit near the end, with a similar solo closing out the record), everywhere in between (including an excellent rendition of the Incantation classic “Impending Diabolical Conquest”) barely leaves a chance to catch one’s breath, except for pauses of a few seconds between songs.
Primeval Satellite is available on vinyl from Dark Descent right here, or if downloading is your thing, you can grab a copy FREE from Bandcamp (see below). The label also has copies of The Enslavement Conquest on vinyl (choose black or gold); or you can get the CD or MP3 versions here.
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