This is my first experience with BUNDLE OF STICKS from the troubled land of Belarus. Oh, wait, their name is Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum. BUNDLE OF STICKS is better. OK, let’s shorten it to EXIMPERITUS. Better yet!
With the ridiculous name and logo, I was prepared for crappy goregrind, but instead my eyes and ears are opened to some amazing Egyptian-sounding death metal that is as heavy and imposing as the pyramids themselves. In a year full of great death metal, here is another winner. The comparisons to NILE are unavoidable, but EXIMPERITUS is so good at what they do, they actually surpass their inspiration.
What surprises about Sahrartu is its deliberate, tank-like pace. There are are bursts of withering, skin-flaying speed and judicious use of double bass drumming, but for the most part, the music here is ponderous and stalking. Almost all of the six mighty tracks here give a lot of room to massive riffs with a noticeable Egyptian/Middle Eastern feel. Comparisons are also in order to Vedic metal bands such as RUDRA. The result is utterly heavy. The grinding feel extends to the growling mumbles of the vocalist. ‘Utpada’ is a killer song mixing slow and fast to great effect, while longer epics such as ‘Anhutu’ and ‘Inqirad’ mostly rely on doom-death, and sometimes avant-garde lead shredding also arises in these songs. They seem to be talking about spiritual concepts, but I can’t tell you if the song titles are actual words from other languages or if they are as made up as EXIMPERITUS’ own name. It’s obvious that this is as heavy conceptually as it is sonically.
Only final track ‘Riqutu’ provides relief with eerie, low-key sounds. I was quite taken aback by the godly force of EXIMPERITUS and have no qualms in highly recommending the album. Ignore the silly extended name and goofy logo and prepare to immerse yourself in the ancient arts of death!
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
5 / 6