Today’s entry Šahrartu is the second full length record from Belarusian occult technical death metal band Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum, in short Eximperitus. Yes that’s their real name. It’s a thing.
The album starts of with the instrumental title track Sahrartu. While good at creating that occult atmosphere and setting the stage for what is to follow, at 03:35 it is overly long and feels unnecessary. The album closes with a track that feels even more tagged on, Riqutu. It’s not even fair to call it an instrumental, as it basically just consists of over 3 minutes of ambient noises. While that’s not bad in itself if utilized properly, the length and placement on the record suggest a desparate attempt to stretch the overall runtime out. The things you have to do to get a record past half an hour of length…
So that leaves us with 4 actual tracks to talk about, first being Utpāda, which is the single release and the reason why I picked Šahrartu for review. A great track consisting of brutal riffs accompanied by even heavier blasting drums and well delivered cookie monster vocals. Add to that some sweet reverb laden guitar melodies that haunt the track and fill it with a creepy, majestic atmosphere, and you have something that sets Eximperitus apart from your typical death metal band. The occult aspect is really well blended with the death metal ingredients. However, at close to 7 minutes, the song feels longer than it needs to be – or indeed than it should be, given the fact that the amount of variations within it are a bit limited.
Do you see a pattern emerging? The (limited amount of) ingredients here are great and mixed quite well, but what you get served are a few very similar versions of basically the same dish, stretched out over too much of a runtime. And while the dishes themselves might be tasty, I would have expected a bit more variety. This could have been cut down a bit and released as an EP, and it would probably have had more of an impact. As it is, Šahrartu is worth checking out if you are into this kind of death metal, but as a bit of a genre outsider, it did not win me over. I was quite intrigued by Utpāda, but the rest of the record did not really do it for me.