Beggar - Compelled To Repeat | Album Review

March 31, 2020

 

Originally forming in the relative pleasantry of Bristol prior to relocating to the filthy inner chambers of our national capital, Beggar have become a reliable source of underground excellence since their inception in 2011. Organically amalgamating callous extreme metal with adhesive sludge composed of bile and tar, Beggar are a proposition more than perfect for our ongoing global crisis. Whilst their forthcoming debut Compelled To Repeat was initially recorded in more simpler times, it’s impossible not to draw parallels between it’s musical themes and our seemingly endless predicament. A soundtrack of filth, nihilism, severe frustration - and new found experimentation - Compelled To Repeat is simply the idealistic record for our current time.

 

With this in consideration, it's no surprise that Compelled To Repeat isn’t a record of subtleness; respective album opener and leading single ‘Blood Moon’ introduces the record’s stylistics with the tenderness of a brick to the cranium. A creeping riff restricts around ones neck prior to sinking it’s chipped fangs in with classic death metal blastbeats, suffocating down-tuned groove and furnace stained vocals. It’s suffocating and venomous sludge at it’s most corrosive, harking violent thoughts of Eyehategod and Iron Monkey at their most bile filled and misanthropic.

 

Whilst extreme metallic sludge may be the primary element of this release,Compelled To Repeat witnesses Beggar tactfully modify the timeless sound of the genre in a way that’s original yet seemingly obvious. It could be argued the very core of this record’s sound isn’t extreme metal but something of a more southern and stoned disposition. As the band thrash and screech in the throes of extreme torment, their collective mind wanders south, onwards towards the sandblasted badlands of desert stoner rock.

 

 

It’s a vital element of Compelled To Repeat that’s introduced almost immediately and remains prevalent for the entirety of the listening experience. ‘Anaesthete’, with it’s damning wails and Scandinavian death metal melodics respites midway into a guitar fill that exhales choking smoke and the applicably titled ‘Black Cloud’ thrashes in a red eyed rage. It’s these initial masterful introductions to seamless genre dynamism that showcase how this release is more than just than another crossover between sludge and extreme metal - a fact most extraordinary given that this is indeed a debut.

 

As the album continues into it’s second chapter - past the most excellent usage of grindcore within the haze of heft and fury that is ‘Trepanned Head Stares At The Sun’ - the lyrical inspiration behind the album’s title begin to become musically metaphysical. Titled after Sigmund Freud’s essay Beyond The Pleasure Principle, Compelled The Repeat is a documentation of processing trauma via compulsion and repetitive rituals. This sense of perpetual frustration is more than palpable within this record’s suffocating savagery, tonal monolithic riffs and wonderfully contemplating southern hooks. Through tracks such as ‘Tenantless The Graves’ and the apocalyptical doom of ‘Matrtoshka Brain’ the sense of suffocating dread is claustrophobic yet also colossally broad. It’s the sound of a cavernous pit, one slowly filling with asphyxiating sludge that pours in from above whilst the walls surrounding slowly crumble and fragment from force. 

 

Given it’s intense brutality and sheer nihilism, not everyone will be able to stomach this record, especially when considering the suddenly isolated world we are now inhabiting. But for those who can fend off such claustrophobic anxiety, a record most rewarding and excellent awaits. From the suffocating start to the starch metallic riffs of the finale that is the title track, this debut is a masterful form of suffocation that needs to be endured a multitude of times in order to be experienced to it’s full horrible extent. We may have been waiting a considerably long time for this release – and we may have to wait a bit more to hear it live – but Beggar perfectly show how they're one of the brightest flames within the UK extreme metal scene with Compelled To Repeat.

 

Score: 8/10

 

Compelled To Repeat is released April 3rd via APF Records. You can pre-order the record here. 

 

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