The Enslavement Conquest
- Year 2016
- Genre Death Metal
- Country Canada
- Label Dark Descent
- Rating Solid
It has been a while since we last saw a full length from Canada’s Begrime Exemious, as the gap between this year’s ‘The Enslavement Conquest’ and 2012’s ‘Visions of the Scourge’ has mainly been filled with some shorter EP’s and a split. Though they’re typically categorized under the death/black metal tag, the black metal elements of Begrime Exemious’ sound has always been more of an additional stylistic nuance rather than the main focus and at their core they’re a filthy death metal that recalls the genre’s earlier days of lumbering grooves and thrash infused attacks. This has been continued on ‘The Enslavement Conquest’ alongside some slightly clearer production values and plenty of killer riffs. A few of the longer tracks may drag a bit, but as a whole the group still manages to impress and has released another worthy album.
Begrime Exemious is definitely channeling some of the best elements of classic death metal and even some death/thrash
The album definitely starts off as strong as possible, as Cradled in Our Hands is the type of song that instantly grabs your attention with a faster riffing and a high level of intensity that doesn’t let up for a single second. Begrime Exemious is definitely channeling some of the best elements of classic death metal and even some death/thrash, and at times their high flying riffs are reminiscent of last year’s excellent release from Destruktor. ‘The Enslavement Conquest’ does a good job at shaking things up, more so than is sometimes typical for this particular metal variant, as there are regular changeovers between sheer speed and slower sections that provide twists and turns. If you’ve heard either of Begrime Exemious’ previous full lengths or EP’s, you’ll likely notice that the production has headed towards some increased clarity but hasn’t sacrificed the rawer, dirtier feel that was a major part of the band’s sound. It’s an approach that works well, as the riffs are a little easier to distinguish because of the added space between the instruments but doesn’t take away any of the bite. Admittedly a few of the longer songs do drag ever so slightly and seem like they could have been cut off a bit earlier, but I did find this to be the case on ‘Visions of the Scourge’ as well. Even with this slight issue, there’s still a hell of a lot to like about what’s happening on this album and the slower, murkier passages mixed with the flashier leads and solos that whip things up into a frenzy make this one worth returning to. There’s even a great cover of Incantation’s Impending Diabolical Conquest, which these guys are able to put their own spin on.
Begrime Exemious once again continues to utilize a dual vocal attack, split between gravelly screams that head into higher pitched territory and lower guttural growls that tear through the sound. Though the vocal position has switched around a bit (‘Visions of the Scourge’ had session work from B. Symic and former member B. Leland handled lead vocals on ‘Primeval Satellite’), what’s impressive is that even with these changes the current high/low split still comes very close pitch wise to the previous material. I actually didn’t realize that there had been these types of lineup changes the first time through, and that’s a testament to the band’s ability to not only deliver another in your face and aggressive performance but also to stick with a consistent type of vocal work that suits their particular type of death metal. With guitarists F. Thibaudeau and D. Orthner regularly trading off, I think it’s safe to say that Begrime Exemious is in good hands.
With ‘The Enslavement Conquest’ Begrime Exemious has continued to refine their particular style of death metal, throwing in plenty of slower, murkier riffs and faster thrash tinged attacks. The slight change in the way the material was recorded works to the band’s advantage, and despite a few sections that overstay their welcome this is an album death metal fans should get quite a bit of mileage out of. Dark Descent Records has been a bit quiet so far in 2016, but this seems like a killer way to get things started.