Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Begrime Exemious (which roughly means to make the light dirty or ‘grimy’) have been playing filthy death metal in Edmonton since ‘06. This past year they signed a deal with upcoming Dark Descent Records out of Mississippi America, who Derek Orthner (guitar) had a chance meeting with over every young bands best marketing and networking tool.
“After we played at Noctis in Calgary, I was talking about the festival a bit there [metal-archives.com], and it turns out an administrator there was the owner of Dark Descent Records. He asked for a disc, so I sent off our Set Ablaze the Kingdom of Abraham EP along with a rehearsal disc, and the rest was pretty much sealed,” says Orthner.
I’m greeted in their practice room by 5 or 6 enthusiastic metal heads and a large red pentagram spray painted ominously behind the drum kit, adorned with two goat skulls. A rebel flag hangs on the wall behind the brown ragged couches where Lee Norland, the drummer, and Ben Harbak, second guitarist both rest with freshly cracked beers in hand. Alasdair Rintoul, the group’s eldest member and current owner of Edmonton’s premiere metal venue The Mead Hall, sits in a small chair to my right absently riffing on a black flying v guitar, while Orthner sits directly across holding a beer and leaning forward, ready to promote his band and extreme music.
We settle in and it instantly becomes clear that this band of death metal enthusiasts isn’t nearly as intimidating or scary as their lyrics or artwork (or a giant pentagram in the middle of the room) would lead you to believe.
When probed about the overtly blasphemous content of their artwork and lyrics, Begrime Exemious never apologizes, but make it clear that the sacrilegious visuals and dark words are just another vehicle for rebellion and a representation of their rejection of the trappings of societal conventions.
“Satan is used more as a metaphor for that way of life,” says Norland. “We don’t go by any rules y’know. Yeah, we have jobs but that’s so we can eat y’know. Being in a metal band is more than just Satan. It’s a whole lifestyle that either you’re that way or you’re not that way”.
After getting to know the group it becomes clear that their aim isn’t the corruption of the youth or to overthrow Christianity, but to make their mark in a genre that’s overrun with mediocre carbon copy bands. Their real interest lay in playing live and honing their craft until they are on par with the leaders of the metal underground.
“We don’t want to be good, we want to be great,” says Harback. “Honestly I want to be at the point where people are calling me up and wanting us to fly out to Australia to do a one off show…how great would that be?”
Hopefully their future on the road will go a little better than this harrowing trip they made home from Vancouver after a gig.
“…we stopped in clear water, switched drivers out,” says Norland, “We stopped at the bear in blue rive and kept going and in-between blue river and Valmont it was just like kahbush! Boom boom boom, and it sounded like we just got a flat tire eh, and I’m sitting shotgun and I look out the mirror and our tires just doing this [wobbles hands around] in the fucking wheel well and all of a sudden our full air filled tire goes bong bong bong into the ditch! And our van just sheers its back end down like [makes scrapping noise]. And by this time I’m like ‘um Al I think you need to pull over’ and he’s like ‘No shit asshole!’
“That definitely brought us closer as a band,” says Norland.
Near death road experience aside, the band recorded the new album, Impending funeral of man, in a pro studio with other local rocker Bernard Asquin of black metal group Lust. According to the band, they’ve incorporated more doom and d-beat punk style into their already chaotic brand of blackened death fury.
Recording was a different experience for the group this time out. Until this album they’ve only recorded in their practice room.
“You don’t know your band until you’ve recorded with them in the studio,” says Harback, “you hit walls and then you learn for the next-time…I’m fully confident that the next time we record things are going to go a lot smoother.”
The previous recordings have a rough sound that makes the music raw and keeps the aggression and nuances of a group rooted in old school black and death metal intact. The confrontational attitude shines through in the recording and serves as an accurate artifact of their live show.
“At the end of our shows we have nothing left,” says Rintoul.
“When you’re up in front of 100 people or whatever man and you’re in the zone, nothing beats that feeling in the world,” says Norland, “no drug, no woman, no fucking beer, whatever, beats that feeling, that’s what it’s all about.”
Music is priority one with the Begrime camp. Old school death metal injected with their own mountain of influences, ranging from Black Sabbath to Pink Floyd to Discharge, is what they do best.
Their commitment to creativity unhindered by general expectations and scene politics is where Begrime Exemious chooses to stay firmly planted. All members have an air of giddy excitement to be involved in the world of extreme metal, and are genuinely enthused to be doing something they hold in high esteem; playing music.
“You create your own destiny. Your time is your time, so you might as well do something worthwhile; that you’re proud of,” says Orthner, “The end is near, so do your thing. And crush the messiah while you’re at it.”
Impending Funeral of Man will be available from Dark Descent Records on CD and Vinyl in the coming months, and you can catch the band at one of many live rituals planned for the spring/summer of ’10 across western Canada.