Compelled To Repeat

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Blood Moon
02. Anaesthete
03. The Cadaver Speaks
04. Black Cloud
05. Trepanned Head Stares At The Sun
06. Custody Of The Eyes
07. Tenantless The Graves
08. Matryoshka Brain
09. Compelled To Repeat

With all due respect to hirsute drug fiends everywhere, sludge metal is not exactly the most difficult music to play. What is far trickier to pull off is sludge metal that actually rings true, with all the hate, disdain and booze-sodden fury that made the likes of EYEHATEGOD and IRON MONKEY so compelling in the first place. Superficially, BEGGAR aren't doing anything radical here: this is comparatively straightforward and brutish sludge, with a dash of southern rock swagger and the influence of gnarly underground metal omnipresent. But when it comes to conviction, to real viciousness and to actually sounding like they might burst through the speakers and kick the living fuck out of you, this London-based crew have absolutely nailed it at the first time of asking.

"Compelled To Repeat" is undeniably heavy and blessed with some truly grotesque and gripping riffs, but it's the sheer vitriolic intensity of the whole thing that seals the deal. "Blood Moon" and "Anaesthete" make for a particularly bruising initial one-two, as BEGGAR lurch from pitch-perfect, slow-motion hate core to flat-out pugilistic clatter, with occasional detours into moderately melodic territory and a treacly fog of druggy weirdness bubbling away in the background. "The Cadaver Speaks" is even more grim, as angular doom riffs and a bluesy groove conspire to drag everything into some unnamed, blazing abyss of noise. Best of all, "Black Cloud" is monumental: slowing to a stately post-metal meander, BEGGAR reveal hidden subtleties in their sound, before an inevitable pile-on of giant riffs and a mesmerizing, FLOYD-ian lead break slams the nihilistic point home.

The album's second half somehow manages to sustain the electrified and electrifying pace, with everything from the trippy grind-blitz of "Trepanned Head Stares At The Sun" to the title track's lumbering, multi-tempo descent-into-hell sounding like the work of blank-eyed and remorseless killers, albeit killers with a reliable supply of good weed and skin-scorching moonshine.

However you slice it, this is a monstrous debut and one of the finest sludge records to emerge in years. There's massive potential here — at times, BEGGAR sound like they're mutating in real time — but there's also a strong sense that this isn't just hairy men making a horrible noise: this is the real, soul-wrenching deal and it's definitely going to hurt.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).