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Eximperitus – Šahrartu

by Santiago Puyol at 18 January 2021, 11:24 PM

Belarusian Progressive/Technical Death Metal band EXIMPERITUSERQETHHZEBIBŠIPTUGAKKATHŠULWELIARZAXUŁUM, better abbreviated as EXIMPERITUS, are releasing their second album "Šahrartu" on 29th January, the follow-up to their 2016’s impossibly long-titled full-length debut "Prajecyrujučy Sinhuliarnaje Wypramieńwańnie Daktryny Absaliutnaha J Usiopahłynaĺnaha Zła Skroź Šaścihrannuju Pryzmu Sîn-Ahhī-Erība Na Hipierpawierchniu Zadyjakaĺnaha Kaŭčęha Zasnawaĺnikaŭ Kosmatęchničnaha Ordęna Palieakantakta…".

The album gets to a slow start with its title track, a song brimming with noise ambience and slow, Doom-tingled chords. A track with a moody atmosphere and technically impressive but still subtle drumming for most of its length. Bowed strings make for a great addition, there seems to be cello and maybe viola and violin involved –the instruments are a bit hidden in the mix so it is not that easy to appreciate the whole arrangement–, lending themselves to the cinematic nature of the song.

"Utpāda" picks up exactly where the title track left off. The drums start going at higher speed and deep, monstrous vocals get introduced. Chugging guitars slow the pace a bit on the instrumental breaks of the song. It is undeniably and unabashedly proggy. The drums have a deep, wide sound although the mix is a bit bass-heavy, burying some of the subtle cymbal and ride work. The band uses a few psychedelic effects on the guitar, adding a hypnagogic vibe to the song, like a weird, sinister dream. The lovely coda at the end, including some plucked instrument (maybe an autoharp?) eases the shift to the next song.

Starting right out of the bat with heavy energy, "Tahâdu" features crushing drumming and spidery guitar lines. A dissonant and technically impressive yet pretty straightforward Death Metal track. It includes some Gothic bits with a little help of a (synthesized?) chorus and something that seems like church bells. It fades out into pure ambience and a sound similar to the one at the end of "Utpāda". It seems to be a motif that unifies the songs of the record.

"Anhûtu" slows downs the pace for its meandering intro, before going full assault on the drums once again. Electronic flourishes add tension to the track, breaking down the sound at different spots. Some gorgeous guitar soloing in the middle of the track gets slighty buried due to mixing issues. Echo and a slight delay to the vocals and guitar add a psychedelic vibe again, this becomes even more apparent on the brief atmospheric break from 5:16 to 5:30. The song moves into a groove-oriented, slower paced final section before dropping into pure ambience for over a minute.

Tasteful and alien-sounding guitar soloing comes at the very beginning of "Inqirad", with some Middle Eastern flourishes into the composition. It moves intro heavier territory about two minutes in. Vocals do not enter until three minutes and a half, with the song building tension and keeping up momentum until a brief release on the first verse. The band incorporates clear Sludge and Doom influences here. Things don’t get neither extremely complex nor too fast-paced, with most of the track moving comfortable as a mid-tempo, trippy, Psychedelic metal jam. A gorgeous ten-minute sound odyssey. Closer "Riqûtu" flows right from it, being mostly a coda to the album. An ambient track filled with strange sounds and a deep ambience. A reprieve to your ears after a dense, assaulting album.

"Šahrartu" is an elegant Death Metal record with strong songwriting, impeccable musicianship and a psychedelic, sometimes dreamy, sometimes nightmarish feel. Production could be better for sure, as some instruments get buried in the mix and the treble end of things gets a bit lost, but overall there’s enough room for instruments to breathe. There are few hooks or memorable sections, so it is easy to have a hard time identifying particular sections of most songs, but that seems to be the point with this kind of long, shifting compositions. An outstanding sophomore effort for EXIMPERITUS!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Šahrartu
2. Utpāda
3. Tahâdu
4. Anhûtu
5. Inqirad
6. Riqûtu
Line-up unavailable
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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Edited 27 September 2022

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