I purposely have tried to stay out of watching the presidential debates this year and last. I get why people watch them, as they can be fascinating theater, but I can’t stomach them. I try to keep politics away from this site as much as I can, but the fact that we still have a party that warmongers as much as it attempts to “care about what keep really want and need” just gnaws at me, and it’s hard for me to carry on a conversation about it that doesn’t dissolve into curse words.
Something that has been a pretty traditional topic when it comes to metal has been war. It’s been all over the place, from the bands that came up in the cold war (Metallica, Voivod, Nuclear Assault), to the ones that have dotted the scene ever since. Yes, there are those that glorify the actions (we have a war metal sub-genre!), be it for real or for show, but there still are those out there that serve as a rallying cry of warning as to what these campaigns of death really stand for. One of those is Canadian death unit Begrime Exemious, and their latest record “The Enslavement Conquest” drums up yet another middle finger in the direction of those who drag people into these situations, never have to face the death and destruction themselves, and seemingly do so just to maintain a stranglehold on those in lesser situations. You know. For the greater good.
Begrime Exemious have been plying their devastating trade a little over a decade now, unleashing their brand of ruthless aggression onto the world over the course of two previous full-lengths (their debut “Impending Funeral of Man” in 2010 and 2012’s “Visions of the Scourge”) and well as a slew of EPs and other smaller releases. On “The Enslavement Conquest,” the band–guitarist/vocalist D. Orthner (Falsehood, Daydreaming), guitarist F. Thibaudeau (Falsehood, Narkotta), bassist A. Rintoul (formerly of Reliquary) and drummer L. Norland (formerly of A.M.S.G. and Weapon)–unleash a record in the classic vein of death metal. The tracks flow surprisingly well, the brutality is in your face, and the guitar soloing goes all over the place, ripping you into space and back, as you return with only bruises. It’s a damn good record, and it’s one of the better death metal releases of this young year.
The record opens with “Cradled in Our Hands” as guitars charge up, harsh growls belt you, and the band hits a nasty groove in which they sit and dole out punishment. The guitars absolutely wail, while the drums are beaten severely, and it maintains its hellish pace and slams into “Overpowered (Under Siege)” and its throaty, thrashing power. This cut is like a flurry of fists and elbows to your temple rendering you a bloody mess. Shrieks and growls meld into one terrifying mix, and the guitar work blazes all over this thing, adding some texture to the blazing. “Transcendence” has charging riffs and raw vocals at the forefront, cutting in through massive chugging, an assault that keeps erupting, and speedy ugliness that does damage right down to the final second. “Rat Amongst the Herd” is crunchy and fiery right away, blending Slayer-style riffs into the panic, with soloing burning a hole into everything, and vicious growls spewing venom. “Conscription Woes” begins with a rather tempered pace before it hits full throttle. The vocals are spat out, while the guitar playing is wah-heavy, adding an element of psychosis into this terror.
“Subconscious Nemesis” has a really interesting, mind-numbing start, and it even veers into prog a little bit. The guitars explore the space, while the vocals blast and mete out horrifying rage, putting bloody prints on what’s otherwise a different shade of creativity from the band. The final minutes are humid and hang in the air, always threatening to open anew and bring more damage. “Noose for a Monarch” not only bites from its title, it also brings woe and demolition that’s trudging and violent. No punches are held as the band unleashes a blinding attack full of anger, urgency, and the will to strike out at the world’s mightiest symbols. A stellar cover of Incantation’s “Impending Diabolical Conquest” follows, a track that feels right at home in the middle of this material as it pays homage to and adds a new level of grime to the classic band’s work. “Crusade Towards Self-Devolution” kicks back into thrashy territory as this song is savage and chock full of aggression. The soloing churns and opens more wounds, while the band settles into a smashing, smoking pace that keeps the hammers and their intended victims falling. Closer “When the Vulture Leaves” fades in from a pocket of chaos, launching in full later with wild cries and shrieks, riffs reigning, and the band chewing up the ground with their march. As it continues, it conjures a disorienting fog in which the song enters, with soloing cutting through the murk and the intensity finally fading into hellish oblivion.
We’ll have war as long as humans are operating things, and we’ll need to rely on bands such as Begrime Exemious to roll their knowing eyes and expose what’s really at heart. Will it change the world? Are you fucking kidding? Have you seen this place? But it’s good to know there are those out there whose art flies in the face of the power regime. Lies and corruption were born to be exposed, and this band is only more than happy to oblige.
For more on the band, go here: http://begrimeexemious.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/