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Begat the Nephilim – II: The Grand Procession Award winner

Begat the Nephilim
II: The Grand Procession
by Andrew Graham at 05 January 2022, 10:08 PM

This week another bright star in the emerging constellation of the very latest wave of Melodeath bands (another recent example I reviewed would be CROWORD). Hailing from New Hampshire, USA, BEGAT THE NEPHILIM crash onto the scene with their second album II: The Grand Procession. This thunderous offering really pushes heaviness to the extreme – without the melodic element this would be Brutal Death Metal. Album openers “Panegyric” and “Pygmanionism” illustrate precisely how the band manage to navigate this extreme and melodify it (is that a word? It is now!) Crushing guitars and furious blastbeats contrast with piano and keyboard, and of course those delightful harmonised guitar melodies. The result is glorious, a real belter!

Tyler’s vocals are worth a mention: multiple layers ranging from crushingly low depths to almost Black metal style shrieks, his presence lends undeniable power to the overall formula. A delicious ¾ beat draws us into “Paterfamilias” along with scatterings of piano melody, creating a dark and gothic ambience – there’s almost a CRADLE OF FILTH thing going on at points, not an unworthy comparison I think! Josh’s drum work is absolutely stellar: the pace is never short of relentless, and he keeps time and rhythm with machine-like precision; it must be quite a sight to behold in person! In “Threnody: Death Of Spring” we go full-blown gothic with a lengthy piano intro and clean melodic guitars, bass and drums coming in to offer something of a light interlude to the brutality that’s come before.

The title-track, “The Grand Procession” dials the extremity up even further, Tyler’s vocals and orchestral flourishes continuing to lay on the mood. “Ossuary” opens with a cool trio of opening flourishes on bass, piano and guitar before dropping back into the madness characteristic of the previous tracks. The track is speckled with breakdowns, interludes and mini sections for a wild ride and emotional turmoil from piano and the crescendo towards the end. Indeed, this end section has one of the most beautiful melodies on the album – it’s a definite highlight. “Exanguinated” opens with more gothic keyboards before the familiar format emerges. Ascending piano melodies accentuate Metalcore guitar breakdowns to great effect. The contrast between keyboard strings and divebombing guitars never quite gets old somehow!

“Dirge” is another interlude track in the flavour of “Threnody: Death Of Spring”. There’s a more upbeat feel to the melodies here, suggesting hopefulness perhaps. This of course is shattered with the first notes of “Pauper’s Grave”, which proceeds much like the rest of the songs apart from a rather tasty tapped guitar solo. “The Grand Procession Part II” opens fairly grandly, with orchestral flourish and pompy guitars, enhanced by military-sounding rhythms on drums. A quiet interlude is followed up by a monstrous solo, never letting the listener quite settle their ears. Piano and synths fade the track out before we are battered into submission by “Leucomalachite Green”, the album’s short but sweet closer. A repeated melody closes the track and the album, emboldened by one last solo, with so much whammy Kirk Hammett would be proud!

If you couldn’t already tell, I really love this album! It has brutality and melody in equally extreme measure – I’m an extreme person after all, it makes sense to me! The recording and mixing has been done with a fine ear and keen attention to detail, ensuring that all elements have a chance to shine. If I had a gripe, it would be that at the speeds prevalent on this album it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish one song from another, but that’s a minor complaint. You really should listen to this, as it proves, if nothing else, that Melodeath is most definitely not dead!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Panegyric
2. Pygmanionism
3. Paterfamilias
4. Threnody: The Death Of Spring
5. The Grand Procession
6. Ossuary
7. Exanguinated
8. Dirge
9. Paupers Grave
10. The Grand Procession Part II
11. Leucomalachite Green
Tyler Smith – Vocals
Cam Dupere – Guitars
Brendan Seigel – Bass
Josh Richardson – Drums
Record Label: Noble Demon


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Edited 01 February 2023

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