Canadian Death/Black Metal quartet Begrime Exemious caught my attention with their 2012 full length ‘Visions of the Scourge’ and discovering the release of their latest offering, ‘The Enslavement Conquest’ I was naturally interested to find out how this third full length would sound, particularly in the light of line-up changes. ‘Visions……’ was all about the riff, awash with guitar mastery in its most shamelessly extravagant form , albeit in a very dirty and evil way, bolstered by unrelenting, pummelling drums and flesh searing, vitriolic vocal hissing. An album best played loud and I am glad to say the same goes for this latest offering .
The minor line-up changes, with D. Orthner taking on vocal duties alongside guitars, along with the addition of F. Thibaudeau also on guitars and vocals and the addition of new bass player A. Rintoul have not made too much difference and certainly not a detrimental one, if anything there’s a richer element to the sound this time around.
It’s a ten track, forty -nine minute release, with a good varied range of pace, beginning with; ‘Cradled in Our Hands’. Opening on a tantalising drum and riff build, it’s old school, rapid tempo Death Metal, with a great, sinister midpoint tempo drop that sets things up nicely for some extended lead work just after midway. There’s not a huge amount of lyrical clarity across the release, an observation and not a criticism, because aesthetically the vocals work very well but on ‘Overpowered (Under Siege)’ the repeat of “Overpowered! Under Siege!” comes through loud and clear. I defy anyone to not join in and then the second half of the track has a huge chunk of stunning lead work.
‘Transcendence’ is a full tilt offering that’s a barrage of “in your face” riffing and pummelling drum work, letting up for a sinister chunk of midpoint lead work, with a good balance between the two sets of vocals. ‘Rat Amongst the Herd’, a catchy mix of dirty addictive riffs and D-beats with a couple of slick direction switches and great lead work. ‘Conscription Woes’ has a catchy addictive repeat that expands out to some pretty sexy lead work in the second half , whereas ‘Subconscious Nemesis’ has a slower crushing mood, dirty riffs, with heavily emphasised drum work and the twin vocals again working as a perfect complement to each other. With haunting midway lead work and a sleazy groove developing in the second half, which adds a nice touch. ‘Noose for a Monarch’ is unrelenting in its delivery and addictive in its rhythms.
‘Impending Diabolical Conquest’ is a pretty decent cover of the 1998 ’Incantation’ classic, harsher than the original which has such a deep crushing edge largely from the deep gutturals , compared to this version with its hard edged vitriolic vocals, but it’s well interpreted and well delivered. My absolute favourite track of this release is ‘Crusade Towards Self Devolution’, a punchy offering with a subtle yet addictive groove that gets the blood pumping and the head nodding and is completed to perfection by superb mid-point shredding. ‘When the Vultures Leave’ has a dark sultry build but when it gets going has a subtly punk edge to some of the riffs otherwise it’s a rapid tempo slab of crushing Death Metal with some sexy closing guitar work.
Out on Dark Descent Records, ‘The Enslavement Conquest’ is an exciting listen that’s full of surprises but make sure you crank the sound up loud!!
Review: Jools Green