HELLO AGAIN, FLESH HUSKS!
As I lay sitting the desolate confines of a house that has been boxed and shoved away for my forthcoming move, I found myself thinking about the terrors of the microcosm, the cyclical way in which we revolve around this vicious day star, when I was accosted by the idea that perhaps what satiates humanity, is the idea we are “constantly progressing”. Personally, I mostly lean towards the belief that agriculturally or otherwise, we just are not sustainable. Every year we chip away at our planet. Boring holes into it’s skin, hacking away the Amazon and filling our waterways with filth and radiation,
But hey, that’s “Progress”.
Speaking of filth, and what satiates humanity, I wanna bring to your attention to two very different, but very important albums. The first of which is a still simmering release, the third full-length album from Alberta home-grown Begrime Exemious entitled “The Enslavement Conquest”.
Now, for the unaware, Begrime Exemious is a four-piece death metal band that has been putting in the effort for years, throwing down cross canada handbills and playing everything from big stages to that bar a few blocks from your house that has that stage that’s only a modicum of inches higher than the rest of the floor. With some vocals that sound like they we’re torn directly out of Pestilence’s ’89 album “Consuming Impulse” and older “Pungent Stench” circa “For Your Soul…”, thunderous spiked bass, and guitar shredding that could tear up roads, this 2016 release has a few tracks that really show the effort to please die-hard fans, as well as demonstrate the broad flavour which they definitely have in their repertoire . To start off with, “Rat Amongst the Herd” the fourth track on the album is going leave you sweating (I would not recommend listening to this one sitting down). It’s a high calibur song with meaningful progressions and builds, but it has a very blatant purpose: TO BE RELENTLESS. To give polarity to that song is its neighbour two doors down “Subconscious Nemesis”, which is just swampy in the best of ways. Allowing dissonance to be a huge focus on that track gives a lot more insight into a spectrum of song crafting that the band doesn’t proceed to dabble in very much, but when they do they absolutely knock it out of the park. Not to be outdone, the outro track “When the Vultures Leave” starts off foreboding, but wastes no time becoming an absolute monster. Prepare to get absolutely blasted by more drums than your body has room for.
To top off the god damn concrete production value it has, the album artwork was done by Mark F’ing Riddick, who is at this point one of the most distinctively styled artists in business.
Just last week I had the luck to have the Begrime show at my local shithole fall on my day off. Needless to say, I went. They pummeled. They played my favorite song “Sacrament of Virgin Flesh” and everybody got immediately rough and rowdy. If your jacket didn’t have beer on it, you weren’t there. Anyone who has known bands knows that they need places to crash, and who doesn’t offer one of their FAVORITE BANDS a place to pass out in their house? Though I didn’t think they would take me up in the offer, but about twenty minutes after I got back through the door my phone buzzed. In our BS’ing, “Al” (rampaging bassist, might I add), notice one of my records sitting next to player and commented,
“Oh, is that a Flotsam & Jetsam record? We should probably put that on”, which brings us to our next waxy vessel, the 1988 thrashterpiece “No Place For Disgrace”.
There was a time where dudes didn’t hunt for three and a half minutes over sloppy synth builds to find their high notes. The vocalist Erik Knutson throws in falsetto notes like a mad man and every single one works. The opening/title track conjures images of feudal era Japan and the honour of the samurai, engaging in traditional seppuku. Upon the initial release it got some mainstream attention over the fact that it contains a more “metal” version Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright”, but it didn’t really garnish any heavy airtime otherwise unfortunately. Top two bangers off this album being “I Live You Die”; a gladiatorial moshpit anthem that smells like being 14, drinking Mountain Dew, and shooting your friends in the face in some Unreal Tournament. If any song was written with some timeless lyrics though, it is most definitely “Hard On You”, a emotionally charged song which (at the time especially) was kind of a risk to put out. Allow me to grace you with a little cut from said tune:
“Does it teach? Can it learn? Are you sure it’s right?
One that’s young sees the circled “R”, does he buy it?
What the fuck! Can’t he buy what he wants to hear?
You muzzle us, we’ll muscle you! You’ll live in demented fear.
Is it good for us or harmful? Does it enlighten or repress?
Our children need to know what’s going on and that our world is a mess.
What the fuck! Can’t we say what we think anymore?
Clean up the world, and we’ll be singing praises forever more…”
The “circled R” referring to the strict policing of what was acceptable before music rating boards at the time. Having your newest record slapped with one of those stickers cut the young demographic completely out of the purchasing picture, over nothing more than music. Especially today with “freedom of speech” becoming a touchy subject, just say everything. Being censored in your artistic abilities, musical or otherwise, cripples you on an emotional level and can effect every aspect of your life.
If you slept on either Begrime’s masterful new beast, or Flotsam’s barely dusty gem (don’t listen to the remaster), I hope you take the time to put on some headphones and fill your cranium with both these necessities.
AND WITH THAT, CARBON DIOXIDE FACTORIES, I BID YOU PLEASANT TRASH ACCUMULATION.