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Begrime Exemious - "Visions of the Scourge" (CD)

Begrime Exemious - "Visions of the Scourge" CD cover image

"Visions of the Scourge" track listing:

1. Incestuous Servitude
2. Oath of Impiety
3. Chasm to Obscurity
4. The Vault of Ancient Bone and Poisoned Saliva
5. Perverted Decadence Churning
6. Sacrament of Virgin Flesh
7. Vengeance Bestowed
8. Relic of Befouled Incantations

Reviewed by on May 2, 2012

"'Visions of the Scourge' shows how Begrime Exemious captures the essence of true early black metal."

"Visions of the Scourge," the second full-length from Edmonton black metal band Begrime Exemious, sees the band returning to a rawer sound, like its debut EP "Set Ablaze the Kingdom of Abraham." In this case, a more primitive sound is a very good thing, since it has a truly spontaneous feel to it. Begrime Exemious produced this one just enough to capture the sound, without compromising on the energy and filthiness of old-school black metal.

"Visions of the Scourge" conveys that early '90s sound of black metal, plus adds some flourishes to keep it varied. "The Vault of Ancient Bones and Poisoned Saliva" harkens back to a sound similar to the early days of Impaled Nazarene and other twisted forefathers of the genre. After the drum roll, it's a nasty assault of rhythm, leads and tremolo that gives way to some dense chords at the end. It's this simple, raw aggression and interesting songwriting that makes their songs come to life.

Begrime Exemious takes the belligerence of early black metal and crafts songs that are brutal and varied. "Perverted Decadence Churning" could take the easy way out and rehash the same endless assault of fast rhythm, but knows how to break away nicely with appealing guitar leads. "Chasm to Obscurity" combines a nice slow intro and drum sequence with simpler, yet effective, guitar that mimics the rhythm in a very clever way.

The capable, thundering bass drives such tracks as "Oath of Impiety" until the end, and concludes this one on its own terms. Similarly, the vocals have that high-pitched irreverence that ups the malicious quality of the songs. Listening to "Sacrament of Virgin Flesh," the singer conveys a vicious barrage of vocals that follows in beastly unison with the music. On that track, the lyrics come to life as they are spit out and gargled to the bellicose pace.

A couple of the tracks on "Visions of the Scourge" are average, if not underwhelming, but most of the album really has the pulse of old-school black metal squarely in sight. For every average track like "Vengeance Bestowed," which plods along in unremarkable fashion, there are a couple of truly good songs like "Relic of Befouled Incantations." The latter is catchy and exponentially nasty with its quick interchange of leads and vocalized screams that don't miss a beat.

"Visions of the Scourge" shows how Begrime Exemious captures the essence of true early black metal. They keep it basic and high energy, conveying that in the production and sound. These Canadians also know how to keep the music vital by adding just enough flourishes and writing songs with variety. They connect well with their high energy sound and take the listener on a primal ride.

Highs: High energy, old-school black metal with variety

Lows: A few songs interchangeable with others

Bottom line: "Visions of the Scourge" is a good release whose raw power does not get compromised by production.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)