The utter mystery that is the Belarusian brutal death metal unit Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum, or Eximperitus for short has fascinated me ever since I heard their 2016 full-length debut, the name of which I’m not going to write down to spare this article’s word count. First catching my attention with the artwork designed by one of my most treasured scene artists, Pär Olofsson (Abysmal Dawn, Immolation, Pathology, etc), they’ve had a fan in me from the moment I put it on. Since then it’d been relatively silent on their part, save for some minor releases like an EP and a preview single. And after four and a half years of teasing, the patience of many an underground dweller, myself included, is finally being rewarded. For today is the day Eximperitus are at last releasing their long-awaited sophomore record, ‘Šahrartu‘.
First thing to tackle and applaud is the recording quality. Where the previous installment sounded raw and a little underwhelming as opposed to the record’s aesthetic, ‘Šahrartu‘ enjoys a polish befitting of the craftsmanship of everyone involved in its creation. Granted, this is something that’d already been apparent on the 2019 single ‘Tahadu‘, incidentally the third track on their latest offering, but it set me at ease for things that were still to come.
Also standing out is the drum performance. Playing a cool balancing act between heaviness and grooviness throughout the record. Blast beat sequences played back-to-back in various tempos are what impress me most though. Especially on ‘Utpāda‘. Pair this with some memorable and surprisingly melodic tremolo riffing, and you’ve got yourself a gravity-defying result. It makes for an extremely heavy yet stylish sound. I would go as far as to call it ‘classy slam’. Slower tracks like ‘Inqirad‘ are also deserving of honest praise. Monstrous riffs are chugged on drum licks that break down relentlessly. Different tempo, same effect.
Now I speak of these songs as if there are plenty to address, but the record’s only six tracks long. Accordingly we should explore an album of this caliber as a whole. Leading me to the third and final element that makes this such a great record: the mystical atmosphere surrounding the album.
Apart from the death metal excellence, ‘Šahrartu‘ is just a whole bunch of awesome weirdness. The whole experience feels like watching an otherworldly behemoth nearing from an unknown horizon, drawing slowly closer and closer, only to walk us by, insignificant creatures that we are, and disappear again ever so slowly but surely in the distant vista. And from the slow build-up of the hulking intro, ‘Šaqummatu‘, all the way through the instrumental, melancholy sixth track ‘Riqûtu‘, that’s exactly what it sounds like to me.
Lyrics too play their part in the strangeness. Those for ‘Utpāda‘, the only ones available at the moment, read like a cosmic manifesto rather than actual words to be sung. Doesn’t make the song sound less cool though. Especially when they’re growled in such a slimy and ominous manner. Finally all these elements are reinforced by an otherworldly album artwork, delivering the final cherry on the enigmatic cake that is ‘Šahrartu‘.
Release date: January 29, 2021
Label: Willowtip Records