Monday 17 August 2020

Beggar - Compelled To Repeat

Labels: APF Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 03 Apr 2020


1. Blood Moon

2. Anaesthete

3. The Cadaver Speaks

4. Black Cloud

5. Trepanned Head Stares At The Sun

6. Custody Of The Eyes

7. Tenantless The Graves

8. Matryoshka Brain

9. Compelled To Repeat

London's sludge metal quartet Beggar is one band that I've followed for some time and have written about a few times. Getting the opportunity to review multiple EPs by the band, include Beggar II, Shingles + House Of Man, Caramel Cigarette and Chainscraper over the years underlined how much talent this band has, so getting the chance to review the band's debut album is a treat (apologies for the delay). It was released back in April on multiple formats by the ever growing and flourishing APF Records.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Beggar sounding this heavy before. Compelled To Repeat is their debut album and they’ve put everything into it. Opener ‘Blood Moon’ is a mixture of outright heaviness and. Impressive musicality. Extreme in the vocal department, like a cross between Crowbar and Scour but at the same time so much more, while the instrumentation seems to have it’s own agenda and doesn’t just back-up the vocals. The volume of the recording and the mastering of Jame Plotkin really brings everything to life.

Groove and blues are woven into ‘Anaesthete’, making it sound very hypnotic, at least until the downright evil shrieks take hold. At times, black metal and avant-garde influences seep in and that’s no bad thing at all. It’s little wonder this album has already garnered so much positive press following it’s release. Even so early into this album, there’s so much to get lost in and ‘The Cadaver Speaks’ flies by in no time at all. It’s so hard to explain why the song hits the spot so well without repeating myself, so I’m not going to. So far, Beggar seems to have got the song-writing and lengths right, without needing to be overblown and in doing so, they gain more impact.

Nothing’s too fast but neither is it too slow. ‘Black Cloud’ is probably one of the sludgiest numbers but it’s also one of the most rocking, and you’ll understand why when you listen to it. The guitars take the lead throughout while the vocals sit deeper in the mix, jostling for position alongside the considerable low-end and percussive battery. So fucking good so far! There’s room for a cinematic intro on ‘Trepanned Head Stares At The Sun’ but if you were expecting some meandering post-rock, you’re gonna be a little disappointed when the melodic riffs disappear to reveal bursts of blasting extremity that’s more akin to grind. Thankfully, Beggar has the skill to temper that ferocity with said melody to create one of the highlights of the album so far.

The second half of Compelled To Repeat begins with the short interlude ‘Custody Of The Eyes’, which breaks up the intensity for a moment before leading you into ‘Tenantless The Graves’, which does completely the opposite. Back comes the heaviness and with it, no hiding place. Stop/start off-kilter vibes follow on penultimate slugger ‘Matryoshka Brain’, which includes a really great guitar solo very early on. It’s an excellent example of sludge taken to it’s more experimental reaches. It’s epic throughout.

Ending with the title track ‘Compelled To Repeat’, Beggar goes for the jugular one final time and it’s a glorious demise for anyone listening. It underlines how disturbing yet articulate this album is and how far Beggar has come in a relatively short space of time. The sound is even more extreme here and yet so fulfilling musically. If for some crazy reason you still haven’t listened to this record yet, do yourself a favour and do it now. 

You can stream Compelled To Repeat as well as purchase it on vinyl, cd and digital formats (tapes have sold out) below:-

Beggar -

Copies are also available from APF Records here:-

APF Records -

No comments:

Post a Comment