BEGOTTEN

Death Metal • Latvia
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Begotten was a deathened black metal band from Daugavpils, Latvia that existed from 2009-2013. Only one album was released.
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BEGOTTEN Awake album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Awake
Death Metal 2012

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BEGOTTEN Awake

Album · 2012 · Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
BEGOTTEN was a short-lived Latvian band from the city of Daugavpils and only existed from 2009-2013. Founded by guitarist Max Vollf and vocalist Andrey Nyarlathotep, the found looked for the perfect band mates before settling on bassist Yarr and drummer Arthur before finally releasing its one and only album AWAKE in 2012.

Almost EP in playing time, AWAKE is an album’s worth of ten tracks that just slink past the 31-minute mark. The band found a unique style that exists somewhere between the old school death metal sounds of the slower bands like Autopsy and black metal, especially the lo-fi thrashy style of the first wave 80s bands.

While it sounds like much of the time BEGOTTEN is bereft of the technical challenges that death metal usually employs as the band tends to focus on those lazy Hellhammer type constructs of black metal’s earliest offerings, it does surprise with some blastbeats and technical riffing frenzies when it really sets its mind to it. It seems the slower fuzz-fueled chord sustain moments are more for atmospheric constructs than compositional wizardry.

The vocals are a bit strange too and requires a bit of time to adjust as it’s somewhere between a death metal growl and a black metal rasp. Also the singer tends to narrate in poetic prose with a slight melodic singing style but does erupt into total death metal madness if required. The album is sort of a roller coaster ride because just when you get used to a certain riffing style the next track will change things up however one constant is the murky grainy production which lends well to this depressive style of blackened death metal.

Honestly this was a hard one to get into at first by by the time the album was midpoint i became acclimated. The strangest thing that throws you off is that the vocalist seems on a completely different trajectory than the rest of the band. It’s sort of like those Deathspell Omega rants where something is being recited during the cavernous din skronk party. Another feature that distinguishes this band from any other i’ve heard is the use of tribal drumming as an intro and sporadically throughout the album. The drummer may just rest on his laurels much of the time but really knows how to spice things up in the creativity department.

In fact i’d say the band excels at experimenting rather than bedazzling you with technicalities. It’s certainly a unique sounding album and although it reminds me of something i’ve heard in the past i can’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps too primitive, Pagan and primeval for some but that’s really the charm here. It sounds like a DIY home project with a focus on a sort of beastly primitivism but once in a while the band breaks into full death metal mode just to remind you that they are quite capable of pulling out the big guns.

Overall a pretty unique album from Latvia and it also appears that it was a one shot never to be repeated. The band excels in adding new elements whether it be an industrial thrash marching drum roll or a surprise melodic guitar solo, a rampaging death metal chaotic meltdown or just a good old fashioned first wave black metal tribute to Celtic Frost. Perhaps the production could be a bit better but it doesn’t really distract from the grungy nature of the music too much. The album pretty much won me over after my doubts at the beginning.

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