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Nergal called... - 70%

Diamhea, October 6th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Molot Records

Begerith has to be one of the more shameless cases of stylistic emulation I have come across. It should come as no surprise that these Russians draw a great swath of influence from Behemoth, and through that they essentially copy-and-paste the same basic template with little active concern regarding the integration of their own unique voice and qualities. Similar cases abound, sure, and Behemoth is a modern metal institution in and of itself, but I do have to tip my hat to these guys for a spot-on recreation of that which they idolize. For obvious reasons, there isn't a whole lot to say here lest I reiterate common knowledge, but My Way to the Star... cooks at a commendable temperature and will satiate more than just a few outlier Nergal advocates.

Make no bones about it, Begerith sounds exactly like the end result of a fusion between Demigod and The Apostasy, augmented by just enough Stygian magic to give the entire ordeal something of a more occult slant. Although Behemoth themselves have clearly boasted all of these qualities during at least one juncture in the past, they began to streamline their approach after Thelema.6 and by in large lost much of the blackened appeal that made outings like Pandemonic Incantations such grand listens. So while Begerith clearly shares familial deficiencies across the board, they do pull most of it off moderately well.

As such, this is lurching, piston-charged death metal sharing in much of the sterile, cast-in-stone sonic attributes of The Apostasy. "The Reunion of Stars Katarus" cocks back and lets loose a volley of parched grooves and exotic lead patterns, and "My Visions of Transcendent Mind" makes you taste the barren soil through a flurry of monolithic low-end fret snappers. The lack of an Inferno behind the drum kit actually forces Begerith to improvise and assume more of a lugubrious, white-knuckled tempo not far removed from what made "At the Left Hand ov God" such a standout. I can do without some of the more flagrant, transparent finger tapping, but the supple and exaggerated pinch harmonics always sound fresh in these environs. Bushuev's death grunts are unspectacular, but are delivered with smoother phrasing that espouses less of the choppy, jagged nature traditionally associated with the framework.

The production values are higher than probably deserved, and My Way to the Star... is a very compact and user-friendly listen on the whole for fans of the style. The orchestrations add a nice yin/yang aesthetic that helps to keep the scope as massive as the subject matter deserves, and much of this crackles with a vibrancy at least worthy of a cursory glance. I by no means bestow upon these guys anything above a solid grade due to the nigh-total ejection of originality, but this fills a void and flattens much of the competition. Recommended for fans of the obvious, Nile, Vesania, etc.