Eximperitus - Sahrartu
Death Metal
6 songs (37:15)
Release year: 2021
Bandcamp, Willowtip
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Minsk, Belarus and proclaiming the supremacy of ancient Babylonian and Sumerian deities, it can seem as though Eximperitus are trying a little too hard at first examination, especially if you are easily annoyed. For one, their full name is Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum, apparently a spell comprised of Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Akkadian and Sumerian, and although Sahrartu may seem like a nice, compact title, looking back at the 48-word monstrosity that they titled their debut album gives the strong impression of a meme band...

Fortunately, Eximperitus swiftly prove themselves to be the furthest thing from a joke once you listen to them! You can see how far they've come by comparing Sahrartu to their much rawer and less focused debut, which has plenty of aggression but sticks a little too closely to the brutal death post-Nile template. Sahrartu, conversely, has plenty of blunt brutality but mixes it with a more ethereal, almost progressive tone that embraces the ancient inspirations more wholeheartedly to produce a technical but individualistic form of death metal. The base formula of the band is strong, a clear descendant of Nile but with plenty of mutant DNA from the likes of Immolation and even a less blackened form of Belphegor, particularly on first track proper Utpāda as it switches between gallops and slower, more melancholic passages. There's some Mithras vibes to some of the wailing, extended lead guitar solos there, too, but Eximperitus are skilful enough at combining all of these to make the results feel original and vibrant, not least for little touches like the acoustic pluckings that close the track.

Even when simply blasting along, as on the relatively weaker Tahâdu, the band are quite gripping, throwing in infectious riffs a-plenty and sinister snarled vocals to make the five-minute running time fly by. And on the best moments, across the eight-minute Anhûtu and its following bigger brother Inqirad, Eximperitus really impress. Anhûtu pummels with that Immolation-esque technical groove before broadening with equally violent yet more abstract guitar walls of noise, a slam breakdown, ambient interludes, creepy chanting, it has it all, and weaves it all into a gripping listening experience. And the ten-minute Inqirad takes a groovy riff and constructs an entire ancient temple out of it, atmospheric and dark but absolutely designed to destroy necks along the way as it rises from the sands. You can hear Nile in there but also plenty of later Morbid Angel, and then something else as it slows into a melodic doom passage in the second half of the piece, fading into an ethereal outro and then into the wispy, melancholic closing instrumental Riqûtu. It's an excellent album that rewards multiple listens, packing a lot into those thirty-seven minutes, and promises even better from the Belarusians in the future. Highly recommended for the tech-death hordes looking for something a little different.

Killing Songs :
Utpāda, Anhûtu, Inqirad
Goat quoted 84 / 100
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