EXIMPERITUS “The Great Trumpet Sounds” 

By Dr. Abner Mality

Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum .

That is the name of this band hailing from the troubled Republic of Belarus and it is 51 characters long and written in 4 dead languages. You will find out more about its meaning shortly. Suffice to say, it is not a joke, it is dead serious.

This is one of the most unique interviews done in the over 20 year history of Wormwood. The band is deliberately cryptic...I could find no individual names for the members, so questions here are answered by the band as a unit. As far as what they look like, I could only unearth the shadowy images that appear here. This is not a band out for individual glory or fame.

As for what they are out for, we will try to find out. It doesn’t take long to discover that they are dealing with concepts far beyond the usual. They delve deep into the ancient past to reveal truths behind the universe we see with our waking eyes. Pretentious? Perhaps, but I don’t doubt for a minute they take their quest for knowledge very seriously. The answers to most questions here were not what I was expecting.

Also, their homeland is on the brink of civil war. The battle against oppression is not theoretical for them, it is part of their everyday struggle to survive. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to somebody who is in that struggle like Eximperitus. Their opinions on this subject are some of the most gripping reading you will find here.

With that, let us venture into the esoteric dimension of EXIMPERITUS...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Greetings to EXIMPERITUS! First, to get the obvious out of the way, tell us about your name. Some would think it’s a joke...what’s the meaning behind the super long version of your band name?

EXIMPERITUS: Greetings! As it was mentioned before, the name of the band is the author’s individual agglutinative neologism based on Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Akkadian and Sumerian terms. It holistically represents the name of the Anti-universe. In other words, these are the personal universes incarnated in every new creation. This is the degree of initiation of every listener. Thus, a neophyte has an extent of abbreviated name while a master possess articulation and understanding of the whole essence of the integrity. This is the barrier and the gate simultaneously.

WC: What language and culture do you draw the song titles on “Šahrartu” from?

E: For the song titles, we used: Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Sanskrit and Arabic. The choice of the languages was caused by the deepest understanding of these ancient cultures and corresponding ontology of the domain.

WC:  When did your fascination with ancient cultures and philosophies begin?

E: At the very end of the last millennium. After acquaintance with a brief encyclopedia of mythological creatures (fauns, veshapi, zwergs etc.) and books on the history of the ancient world.

WC: I know “Šahrartu” is a concept album. Does it tell one story from “Point A” to “Point B” or is it just inspired by ideas from one source?

E: It is a step-by-step narration of existential processes in the universe in the way we might suppose it evolves, based on the assumption of observation similar processes. We’re talking about distinctive stages of arising, evolving and disappearance. That is characteristic of man, empires, and in the context of the album, the Universe itself.

WC: Is the album a continuation of ideas from previous albums and demos or is it the start of something new?

E: All our releases are united by the outlook and ideas, but at the same time they are integral creations. “Šahrartu” is no exception – it is a completely independent work. At some extent this album is the reverse of the “Prajecyrujučy Sinhuliarnaje Wypramieńwańnie Daktryny Absaliutnaha J Usiopahłynaĺnaha Zła…”You may get that by comparing two covers. “Šahrartu” is the future which characters of the debut album see in front of their selves through a time anomaly. But poetically this is something above the boundaries of established traditions. That period will remain in the past. The lyrics for “Šahrartu” were written in accordance to the statement “The most sublime things dwell in the most ordinary, the most difficult ones lies in the easiest”. There are not so many terms, names, allegories, epithets and metaphors as before. No explanation or comments required. Everything is precisely clear.

WC: Many people will hear an obvious influence from NILE in your music. How much of an inspiration has their sound been to you?

E: For us this influence is not so obvious as it might be for others. The greater impact on our music was made by HATE ETERNAL and MORBID ANGEL. NILE are the fathers, authorities and world-class professionals, with whom hardly anybody in our solar system might be compared. But they have their own path,  and EXIMPERITUS of their own. Everyone who weaves  eastern melodies  into their music and use aesthetics of the ancient east would be predictably treated as follower of the pioneers. But don’t take the outstanding as static.. NILE has shaped sound and the concept migrating from album to album. We’re constantly longing for search and experimentation. Regarding our sound, we stick to the Kaizen practice, we’re focused on continuous improvement of all processes. The way we sounded on previous releases, the way “Šahrartu” sounds and the way the next albums will sound – these are completely different eras. Concerning compositions directly, apart from rather low guitar tune and fleeting inclusions of eastern melodies, we don’t have much in common.

WC: What are some of the other influences EXIMPERITUS draws from? What kinds of non-metal sounds do you draw from?

E: EXIMPERITUS is a self-motivating mechanism, which fills us with energy and inspires it’s creators in the moments of interaction with it. The working process itself is the highest act of the exaltation for us. Indeed, each of us carries an imprint of energy and knowledge consumed from the outside. Everything we consume in our private life affects our inner world and aspirations, and is reflected in our works. We’re running over an enormous amount of both Metal and genres which lie far beyond the borders of guitar music itself.

WC: You come from Belarus...are there myths from the past of Belarus in your music? Is that something you might take further in the future?

E: At the dawn of pre-EXIMPERITUS existence when the band was named KALDEVIND, we used references to the period of the highest elevation and prosperity of our Fatherland, which also had a different name and borders. But we’ve never used myths or legends in our lyrics. At that time we already preferred to express ourselves through the language close to scaldic poetry and according to that we made references not to the pantheon which unites Slavs and Balts, but to the pantheon of German tribes of the ancient North. Our roots are relatively young and reach for three thousand years according to the boldest estimates. Considering the late imposition of Christianity in the most remote places (XIV century), except for scraps that have survived in the oral tradition and migrated into folk legends, practically no truly valuable information about the worldview, spirituality and mythology of our ancestors has survived. There’s nothing as deep, breathtaking and stunning as Avesta, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Mahabharata or Edda. In the near future we’re not planning any edition of “myth-making” albums. Hence, if we’d return to the ethnical motives, that would be as exceptional as restoration of KALDEVIND’s archives, in which there is enough material for two albums. But that’s another story, and it’s realization is lost in the mists of the future so far.

WC: Belarus is also now a fire zone of political unrest. Does this affect you in any way and is there any trace of this struggle in your songs?

E: For Belarusians it’s not political unrest, it’s the social collapse. Politics is a privilege and whim of far more developed societies,  that allow themselves the luxury of talking about climate change, human rights and the future itself. It’s far more primitive and harsher here. We’ve faced the simple perspective of surviving as a biological specie. It’s either with  the colossal effort of the will the sane part of the society (the majority)  that would make steps towards future – full of challenges and labors but triumphant. Or the defective, degenerative, retarded part (the minority) will finally drag us to the bottom and chain us to concentration camp fetters. And we’re not talking about losing some ephemeral rights or privileges. We’re speaking here about a real repressive system, in traditions of NKVD. It’s not some kind of a liberal’s nightmare – it’s dystopia in practice. 

So, the choice is obvious – it’s fight till the end, by all means. For the last years we’ve chosen tactics of self-isolation. Had no interactions with the government or its institutions. And we’ve succeeded in spite of things. But the events of this August became for every one of us our personal Rubicon. In those fateful days we’ve negotiated with label, re-recorded separate parts and finished mixing. And in the evenings the shooting and explosions started. Departing from persecution, we were locking ourselves in the studio. Working on sound. Literally “through the fire and smoke of battles”. There was no internet during these days. We’ve gathered information about the events by bits from talks with the witnesses. And when the first news about the killed ones, missing ones and people beaten to such extent that their limbs was amputated, the news about brutality and humiliations made by the inquisition of the regime – the air become wet because of approaching perspective of the civil war. It seemed that all ambitions would sink into oblivion and nothing exists beyond the current moment.

 Needless to say, when, being raised in malice and pathological hatred towards all ranks, shoulder straps, uniforms, “law” enforcement, we saw with our own eyes the results of their “deeds” on our close people, friends and pals. It was not sobering, as it was for those who have been sleeping for many years, but the shock was not weaker from the confirmation of a long-recognized fact. To enrobe this into musical forms – that would mean for us to merge with this burden forever, not to overcome it. Our goal was to pass through this phase without loss of dignity and leave it behind.  It is enough that we allowed the system to poison, perhaps, the majority of our lives. All mentions about it should be erased, the names forgotten, the wounds healed, the guilty ones hanged.We cannot turn this situation, which obviously is the result of civil indifference, into another historical stigmata, like WWII.

WC: There’s a lot of fast blasting on “Šahrartu” but most of the music seems to be slower and more “majestic” in nature. Do you find the slower riffs transmit more emotion?

E: The slow music indeed highlights the “majestic” nature. But with “Šahrartu” it works in a different way. Each track meets it’s own tempo based on which stage of the Universe evolving it represents. And crossing the equator, the music gradually slows down. Emphasizing extinction. Look at the English tracklist, read the introduction in the booklet, the lyrics of each track – you’ll get it all at once. This is a concept of the particular album, it’s not a change of the vector for the band. When we have to describe the atmospheric whirlwind erasing civilization, the music on the album would be speedy to the higher limit.

WC:  Are all members of the band into occult or esoteric traditions?

E: It’s not quite clear what meaning you put into these terms. Quite controversial images are triggered in the imagination. We do have specific points of view and interests in this area, but we don’t confess in our everyday life to any kind of dogmas, rituals practices etc. All deepest metaphysical processes should be carried in the conscious and subconscious levels, they shouldn’t be manifested in some external acts.

WC: If there is one message you want people to take from “Šahrartu”, what would it be?

E: The existence of the Universe – is a temporary phenomenon, it will disappear like any other living organism, as everything that has a beginning will come to an end.

WC: Have you had the chance to play live much? How much has the Covid plague affected the band?

E:No. We’re not a performing band. So, the pandemic almost has no effect on our activities. Perhaps, only restrictions on postal delivery to some countries caused some temporary inconveniences. 

WC:Are members involved in any other projects besides EXIMPERITUS?

E: No. We’re completely focused on our work in EXIMPERITUS. 

WC: If you had a chance to talk to any 3 people from history, who would they be?

E:That would be different people in different times. For now, let them be: Niccolò Machiavelli, Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Winston Churchill.

WC:Any final messages for fans?

E: Thanks for all who were with us through all these years, and greetings to all of you who met us for the first time! Our new album “Šahrartu” will take its final shape and reveal itself to the world very soon. He will become like a trumpet voice, which adumbrates the fall of the old world and the birth of the new era of the unprecedented forms and possibilities…