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The debut Wormed album attracted lots of attention from brutal death fans upon its release in 2003 due to its suffocating atmosphere, inhumanly low vocals, and its oddball lyrics and premise. I found it to be a strangely appealing album at the time and ten years later (!), it sounds even better.
The production is a fuzzy murk of downtuned guitars overdriven to near obscurity, vague bass rumbles, Phlegeton’s unique vocal gurgles, plus the real standout element of the music, Andy C.’s jazz-inspired drumming. He blasts his way through much of the album and slows the tempo down for off-kilter slams here and there, and his playing is always peppered with odd fills (as in “Voxel Mitosis”) that are much more dynamic than the average brutal death metal drummer. And sometimes, such as in “Geodesic Dome,” he plays a syncopated beat at an unexpected moment, which adds to the uniqueness of this record.
Wormed's riffs, courtesy of guitarists J. Oliver and Charly and backed up by bassist Guillemoth, merge the style and complexity of technical death metal with brutal death metal heaviness, all shrouded in that mysterious space dust that coats the production of the whole album. The riffs twist in and out of standard time signatures, creating an unpredictable atmosphere where the listener can always expect volatile shifts. When the bass playing gets a spotlight, such as the weird bridge of "Voxel Mitosis," it provides a welcome break from the buzzy insanity of the riffage.
Phlegeton, the band's vocalist and lyricist, is an unusual presence on the record and part of what makes it so special. His growls are disturbingly low and there are moments during a few intros and outros of songs where his vocals stand unaccompanied for a second or two, and they sound appropriately alien. His lyrics are, of course, completely indecipherable, but reading them reveals a dense fabric of oddly-phrased sci-fi references. An example from "Pulses in Rhombus Forms," reads: "Two dimensions used / Plus strange cosmic hole / Organism likes spectra fusion / In this strange rhombuillision." What does that mean? Who knows. But no other death metal band writes stuff like this and I appreciate their attempt to paint a picture with the lyrics.
Planisphærium’s fast passages shred, the slam parts are knuckle-draggingly heavy, the weirdo psychedelic bits pop up for a few seconds here and there to keep the listener on his toes. The album is only about 25 minutes long, which always leaves me wanting more. I’m not sure Wormed will ever be able to top this album without Andy C. playing drums, but at least the brutal death community will always have Planisphærium for when they’re in that otherworldly mood.
Wormed’s Planisphærium is a curious little Spanish oddity that’s unlike any other. It’s filthy, ugly, and disgusting. But so are plenty of other brutal death metal bands. What is it, then, that makes it so intriguing, so mysterious, so otherworldly?
Let’s start with the vocals, shall we? They’re the most ‘normal’ aspect of the album, lying somewhere between a pig squeal and a garbled grunt, with what can be best described as a snarl popping up rarely. Phlegeton doesn’t bother enunciating any of his words. Likewise, you shouldn’t bother reading along to the lyrics while listening to the music.
…which brings us to the lyrics. They’re vague, pseudoscientific garbage written in broken English, reading like randomly arranged words out of the glossary of a physics textbook. Frankly, anyone who thinks these lyrics are deep or intelligent would be deluded. They’re like every other brutal death band out there, except that their theme just happens to be space and mathematics and shit. Nonetheless, they have a certain endearing charm, with their numerous spelling and grammatical errors. My favourite lyric is the closing line of the title track: “Concentrate a lot of energy, can obliterate me at this speed”. How eloquent.
Now, the guitars are where things start to get stranger. Despite possessing a tone that is extremely lo-fi and fuzzy, rendering most notes incomprehensible, they manage to put out some devastating, off-kilter riffs. There’s also a lot of variety too: a mangled breakdown is the centrepiece of Ylem, and there’s an almost uplifting black metal tremolo sequence in the middle of Pulses in Rhombus Forms, which is generally the most melodic track on the album (relatively speaking, of course). Geodesic Dome is most representative of their sound, with its ridiculous tempo changes and frenetic, mind warping riffs. Like the electrons they enjoy talking about, their songwriting is random and chaotic, so they hardly repeat a part more than four times. This sense of randomness is further enhanced by the drumming, which switches from blastbeat to groove to to d-beat to hit-as-many-cymbals-as-you-can spazziness in a matter of seconds. The drums (along with the vocals) are louder than the guitars for the most part, resulting in a poorly balanced and rather amateurish mix. In fact, everything about this album pretty much reeks of amateurishness.
So why the 100%, then? What is it that distinguishes Wormed from the multitude of generic Suffocation clones and Immolation worshippers? It’s simple really. Wormed have done what only Demilich and very few others have been able to do. They’ve created something beyond this world, perhaps even beyond this universe. Forget about bands like Augury who attempt to sound alien through their use of spacey keyboards or operatic singing all while lovingly probing your anus. No, Planisphærium is alien. Let’s be realistic here: it’s unlikely that an alien encounter would be particularly pleasant. In the same way, Planisphærium is disorienting, confusing, even terrifying. It’s a combination of all the wrong elements colliding in just the right amounts, at just the right time. Perhaps I was wrong about their lyrics, because they are indeed “above the inferior human life”.
In terms of sheer heaviness and aggression, nothing really stands at quite the same level as the recent crop of hybrid bands who’ve thrown in just about everything considered too extreme by the masses. Be it the most grotesquely venomous streams of tonal dissonance supplied by the NYDM scene ala Suffocation and company (and also their Canadian brethren Cryptopsy), the bludgeoning brutality of the more extreme elements of the groove/industrial bands of the late 90s, and the exaggerated musical Dadaism of several recent grindcore acts, there is definitely a present drive towards brutality that almost forsakes any other convention of metal as a whole. The extent to which this approach works well, in practice varies a bit, but largely it all tends to sound the same, with a few notable exceptions, and the Spanish purveyors of all things odd yet brutal Wormed is among them.
Ruthlessly unrelenting, blasting with the constancy of a perpetual supernova, and pounding out a varied set of primitive death metal riffs, “Planisphaerium” offers up an unusual dichotomy that most similar sounding bands tend to not suffer from. The overall sound rages with all the extremity of the most obnoxiously vulgar brutal acts around, yet the musical presentation has a slightly progressive tinge to it in spite of its formal simplicity, and the lyrics are quite a mind trip for anyone expecting the usual foray of gore and toilet humor. In spite of the band’s name, which would suggest a multitude of possible disgusting references to purging a human/animal’s digestive tract of some parasite, this is a highly intellectual endeavor that focuses heavily on biochemistry and astronomy.
Barring perhaps a somewhat lackluster drum production that somewhat resembles the dry, slightly popping character of Cannibal Corpse’s “Butchered At Birth”; the entirety of this album is an astounding exercise in otherworldliness. The riff work is heavily focused on low slamming power chords, but also throws in these odd space-like elements at regular intervals which hit the senses like a cloud of primordial swamp gas. Add to it a rather unique vocal presentation that bridges the thin line between Lord Worm and a host of recent belchers and bellowing barkers of this style and is utterly unintelligible, and the word surreal falls just short of what is going on here. But perhaps the most telling part of this album is the unity of all parts involved; there aren’t any standout players to speak of here, save perhaps Phlegeton’s vocals, which act mostly to complement the sound of the album and require the album booklet in order for any lyrical content to be communicated, the entire listen is a uniform testament to strangeness.
Normally I don’t have a real attachment to this genre, but this album is something that I enjoy, though in small and occasional doses. Consumers of most current extreme death metal off shoots where loudness and heaviness rule will definitely find a fine addition to their collection here, and an esoteric one to boot. Whether your lyrical fetishes include elaborate and rhythmically well versed studies in the formation and destruction of planets and ecosystems or not, Wormed has brought an intellectual character to an otherwise simpleminded sub-genre and come out with a clear winner here.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on October 6, 2010.
I remember this album really causing a stir amongst tech death fanboys upon its release. But actually, everyone, not just the tech-fellaters were raving and talking about this album. I mean, it was really being lauded by about ninety percent of the metal-listening community. So after accidentally discovering their really cool-looking shirts, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I decided to download a few tracks to preview, and upon hearing them, I was certain I had the wrong band. "Surely this murky garbage isn't what everyone is calling "the next big thing" and "the greatest technical metal of the last few years." But alas, I had discovered this brutal Spanish band's music, and it actually made me crack a grin and laugh out loud. This album evokes only two things; laughter and brutality. And even if this was a joke, how could anyone with even a remotely sane mind find it the least bit amusing?
In short, this is everything that's wrong with 'brutal death metal', which I already think is a useless tag. But I suppose that it has come to coin a certain slew of bands that simply do not know where to go with, or when to end their brutality. Do they spend all their time fucking around with distortion, you know; to sound even MORE brutal than the last hundredth-Suffocation-knockoff because it seems that the primal nature of this kind of music inspires a certain slew of individuals to somehow be the heaviest band on Earth. I'm not a psychology expert, but it's like these guys are trying to out-macho each other through music! As any seasoned metal fan would know, these 'brutal death metal' bands almost always harbor unimaginative, haphazard ideas when they make metal, always trying to be the next Suffocation and failing. And Wormed are one of these bands. They're fast, they're dense, and yep; this is brutal as all hell. But guess what? I have no idea what they were trying to do here. Actually, you know what? It's actually that this music is rather brutal in structure, but it has one of the most plastic and artificial guitar tones I've ever heard on death metal display. The production is thin and tinny as well, which really makes it grating and defeats the whole purpose of being brutal in the first place. Perhaps this was this album's way of standing out a little bit, and that's at least clear. You can actually distinguish the tempo changes and 'flow' of the songs, but the musical value is of almost no merit. Logically, good music must have either some type of controlled musical elements and/or a coherent sense of direction, and this if bereft of all such prerequisites. This album doesn't even bear any otherworldly atmosphere, or unique actual sound either. I imagine you could yield these exact same results if you took a shit on [i]Nespithe[/i], whilst flushing it down the toilet and farting uncontrollably with the metal ceiling fan on at HIGH in the small stall at a shitty and generic metal show in a run-down venue.
From what I can gather of this murky disaster, the band seems to be capable of only one idea: dissonant brutality. The riffs are meaty and fast, alternating tightly between tremelo-picked incursions and sparce breakdowns. As a whole, it really is nothing more than the band showing off how fast and brutal they can be. So what? Two ideas, both executed sub-parly. This is unbridled brutality, but where is everything else? There's only so much speed and wily obnoxiousness an album can take before it begins to fail in the department of musical credibility, and that's a lost concept here. They make not even one attempt to invoke an expenditure of depth and identity in either their sound or style.The guitarist simply cannot disburse his ability to play fast with any sort of hook, discernible rhythm, or concoction of a refreshing idea. And even if not an original idea, at least a mildly enjoyable conventional type of verse of two to three bars of maybe a hooky staccato or a palm-muted tremolo arpeggio. You can play. Now write a fucking song. Do something with that impressive speed and fretboard familiarity you've mastered, because Planisphærium is devoid of all fluency and structure. Hell, it doesn't even have any leads or solos. If it does, than that tells you how insipid this is, because I have a damn good memory. But perhaps the worst part of all is the vocals. They're infamous for good reason, and are a laughable addition. Imagine the burps of Demilich's Antti Boman, yet even lower and more prosthetic sounding. They resemble a bullfrog far more than Antti ever did on Nespithe, and due to the coupling of mindless brutality and goofy vocals, this is one album I cannot either enjoy or take seriously.
There are some albums I don't like because, while inventive and original, they simply lack that elusive something to make them click with me. And then there are albums that I don't like simply because they're bad. This is of the latter. Just another bafflingly-overrated death metal album, praised because it's fast and brutal by easy-to-please technical freaks. However, those not so dubious will see right past this exercise in mindlessness and reach for something brutal, yet inventive like Gorguts, Yattering, or Brutality. This is just another death metal album with little credibility and zero replay value.
I didn't like this album at first ('at first' was something like two years ago, I think). In fact, I submitted a negative review for it which was rejected, no doubt for not being 'tr00' or 'kvlt' enough, as the moderators of this elitist website are apt to do. Rest assured that I will compose a lengthy essay on the primacy of open-mindedness and append it to a future review. In the meantime I can only hope that this one reaches the reader unmolested by censorship.
It's unusual for me to have a significant change of opinion about an album so that would make this release a little different already, for some reason.
Basically, Wormed sounds kind of like Cryptopsy. That's a totally limiting and stifling way to classify them seeing as they've got like five seconds of spoken word vocals and a weird Science-y lyrical concept and yet basically they sound like Cryptopsy basically.
What to make of modern Cryptopsy or the modern Cryptopsy-like band? Random spazziness is no good, but what if there's some grand artistry beneath it all and I miss out by being dumb and 'not getting it?' As an arbiter of opinion, I must be studious and vigilant.
This calls for a list... of the three challenges brutal death metal bands must face:
1) Be brutal – not a very challenging challenge on the basic level, but to convey brutality in a musical or artistic sense beyond tuning the guitars to sound like garbage compactors is of greater value. Wormed's music would still be kind of brutal if played on banjos on account of the crushing dissonance and violent rhythms, but the ultra-distortion is also a big help of course. The “GGRRGGLGLGGGLRRGL”-style vocals are also ably-done, though possibly hard to digest for those only used to “BRRUGH RRRRGG RARGB” vocals.
2) Have people actually be able to figure out what's going on – if they do not, then people just start to complain about how it all sounds the same and they're just trying to be brutal and so on, regardless of how good it actually is or isn't. They'll also get a tar-and-feathering if it's too straightforward and predictable. Wormed has that random-factor that goes into the extremest of the extreme music, but underneath all the confusion the rhythms are at least somewhat predictable – enough that it sounds like a mess on the first shot, but makes a enough sense to be followed on the second trip through.
3) Seem original – 'originality' may be defined in this context as how you tell a given band apart from others that would sound exactly alike to any normal person. If you want bragging rights on novelty, stamping your sound out of death metal's aesthetic cookie dough may not be the best starting point, but apparently a lot of the viewers at home are greatly impressed by the creativity of combining some familiar thing with some other incongruous thing. Strange technical flourishes seem popular. Wormed has those; the guitar squeals and such.
My official judgment is that this album is pretty good, although it has not caused me to completely rethink my views on death metal, and in reality Deeds of Flesh make better brutal death metal even though they're more “generic-sounding” to a typical person. There's also some normal-sounding, somewhat black metal-like tremolo melody in one of the songs near to the end of the album that saves it just when I'm starting to get bored. Also, it helps that it's not too long.
BUY OR DIE if you feel like it; otherwise don't worry because you can probably live without this.
Wow, where to start? Wormed is a brutal death metal band from Spain, and this is their only album to date. It seems to be quite the love or hate affair, with a lot of people proclaiming it as the future of death metal, and others are calling it a mess that has nothing to brag about except excessive brutality and blasting. When I originally got this album, I don't think I really 'got' it, dismissing it as a solid 25 minutes of brutality, and perhaps a solid 70% or 80% for reviewing purposes. I came back to it a week later, and was instantly surprised; what had I been missing? Wormed have crafted quite the complex album here, and I must say I come down on the side that hails this album as a masterwork.
First off, the production on this album isn't the clearest or most polished. In fact, on first listen, one would most likely dismiss this album as a wall of sound, completely devoid of any melody or intelligence. The drum sound is especially terrible, and it's very tough to decipher one song from another by an untrained ear. If you don't care enough to give this album more attention, than that's all it will ever seem to you---an undecipherable wall of brutal, heavy, grinding noise. However, with adequate listenings, there are some very interesting ideas at work here, and it's a shame that more people don't give this enough chances to grow on them. If this album had the polished production of, say, Nile or Psycroptic, then I don't think they'd have half of the detractors that are bashing them now.
The riffs are crushing and heavy, ramming into you with all the weight of a wrecking ball crushing everything in sight, and that's not all they are either---this may not be the most melodic metal album, but the songs here pack a tight, memorable sense of technicality that really shines after a dozen or so listens. Riddled with time changes, dirgey, sickening breakdowns (and these are some of the best breakdowns I have ever heard), and heavy riffs that go for the jugular, this is both face-rippingly brutal and mind-blowingly technical, and more of the brilliance at work here is uncovered with each passing listen. From the pounding grooves of "Geodesic Dome" (complete with the odd, fluttery, melodic interlude in the middle) to the sledghammer-to-face riffs on "Voxel Mitosis", the brutal, bludgeoning title track (which is probably the best track on here; just listen to that fucking breakdown!), and the speedy "Pulses in Rhombus Form" and the slow, pulsating technicality of "Ylem", not a moment on this disc is wasted.
Vocals? They're a sick, guttural...noise...that sounds more like the vocalist is inhaling than anything else. It really takes some getting used to. You won't be deciphering any lyrics from this, so it's best to have a lyric sheet handy. I'm no death metal virtuouso, so I can't compare these vocals to those of similar bands, but I personally don't have an issue with these vocals at all. They're brutal and disgusting, yet they fit the music perfectly, and I wouldn't think any other style of growling would suit this band's brand of chaotic insanity. It's a perfect fit, a match made in Hell.
The lyrics here are certainly something to ponder. The band is from Spain, so their English isn't the best; we should excuse them for that much. Most other brutal death bands are writing about fucking pigs or slitting peoples' guts. Not Wormed. I'm really at a loss of words when it comes to describing these lyrics; they're completely unique and original. Just go to the band's official website (under "Concept"), and think about that. This band is creative, innovative, and intelligent, and I knew I'd like them from the first moment I started hearing about their lyrical themes. That alone should earn them at least a bit of respect.
Aside from the drum sound, I'm completely stunned by this album. It's short, so you can listen to it on repeat for as long as you deem necessary, and there are no tracks that need to be skipped or excluded in the least; every track rules. It's not the most accessible or simplistic death metal album, but there are several unpolished, hidden gems waiting to be found for the patient listener willing to go beyond the confines of the genre and into something completely new. Highly, highly recommended.
I became interested in this album after reading its reviews. To be honest, it's really surprising when most of the reviews give 90+ percent, while a few gives really low scores. Surprisingly - in this case - the lower the better.
Wormed is supposed to be a brutal death metal band... Listening to the tracks, this can't come through. We got a gurgler vocalist, guitars that sound like they're capped on a maximum of 5 notes, some weak humming called bass guitars, and drums out of sync. More funny than brutal...
First of all, the vocalist (effected or not, but sounds unoriginal) gives mid-low gurgles, similar to CBT, although a little less varied, so be prepared to be bored. Same all along: old, low-class goregrind gurglings. No change, no higher vocals, neither any variation. Also, there are some parts, where the lyrics (?) are going letter by letter, slowly, chewing each of them one after one. There are special parts in Dehydrating, where you can actually hear shouted vocals, heavily distorted & effected. Also some voice talking, just the same. Now the best guess would be that all of the vocals are effected, making it much more sucky.
Guitars are (as above mentioned) are capped to 5 notes all on the E string, sometimes faster, but most of the time slowly. Also, there are some parts, where guitars switch in for 1-2 notes, and go off, repeatedly, with the above mentioned lettered vocals. Even slower parts are a relief after those parts. The two-guitar presence isn't even slightly felt anywhere. Basses sounds like a weak bass boost to the guitars, nothing more.
The most interesting parts are the drum rolls. Async to the guitars for quite some time, but this isn't all. Even async to itself, breaking up the rhythm in some cases, making it sound like some broken drum-machine. Interesting also, the snare which resembles to pounding crates filled with glass. Bass drums are mid-low, with weak sound. The number of cymbals, and their variation, is correctly keeping to 1. Yes, it's the ride cymbal, nothing else.
Lyrics are somewhat interesting, but looking further into them, they're ramblings of physical stuff, similar to those ‘wannabe’ songwriters who think that randomly mixing up shit makes the smell go away. Also, they're not even slightly connected to the vocals. Songs of highlight for this are: Dehydrating and Voxel Mitosis.
The only reason for this album's getting a score of 28 is that it can be listened, if you're into boring funny goregrind, because this one is something like that. Also, you might not necessarily throw it out after buying it, because it's 'special' lyrics.
With such an interesting concept of reality, and basing their music on this, Wormed is a band that simply cannot be matched currently. Picture bands like Demilich, Lykathea Aflame, Apalling Spawn, Akercocke, Suffocation, Devourment, Pestilence, Immolation, Disgorge, Nocturnus and Psycroptic. Now multiply the intesity of Demilich by 10.
Wormed is the future of Death Metal.
Think I'm joking? First off lets start on the lyrics. Space, Time, Human Evolution, Dimensions, Cosmos, Self Enlitenment. No band can match the depth of these lyrics. Phlegeton is a genius and his themes will confuse out of everyone trying to comprehend such ideas. Storys of galaxies far away come together so flawlessly through these "songs". Ectoplasmic spheres is such a refreshing concept as opposed to the gore, killing, rape, torture themes of most brutal death metal bands around today. Even singing along with such complex vocabulary is difficult, but also very rewarding.
The first thing that will surely capture your attention will be Phlegeton's unique style of vocals. The sheer level of brutality in his vocal style is unmatchable. Low growls such as this have never been emulated before, and really gives this band such a unique sound. Definitly not for everyone, such vocals blend with the rather complex and interesting music like no other vocals would. I can not imagine the strain on his vocals to produce such guttural sounds, and would definitly love to hear him sing like this live.
Intense bass and guitar riffs will definitly blow you away. Complex riffs and pummeling bass will destroy you. Its such a surprise that it is only one guitarist since the harmonies are so fucking epic, and the riffing is some of the most refreshing and well sounding riffs out there. The bass does simply much more than follow the guitar. Complex bass patterns bledining with unique guitar riffs are unmatchable. I seriously can't stresss how good the riffs are, and there are so many catchy moments, espically the middle of my favorite song off the album, Ylem.
The drumming definitly mixes complex rythms and sheer speed. Playing much more than the average blast/double bass patterns, proves even more why Wormed are the future of death metal. Complex fills and odd time signatures also add to the madness.
All of the artwork is done by the vocalist and it is amazing, which is expected because the man has his own graphic studio.
Brutal death metal is a very difficult subgenre to for me to appreciate most of the time. The reason is because it is a very limited type of music, creatively speaking. While it definately pushes the boundaries, I just find it to be a very boring and dull subgenre overall. I was recommended this band, and intially had very low expectations, but upon listening further, was stunned. Wormed is truly a gem to be found in the boring and exhausted grounds that is brutal death metal.
The music is insanely technical, and features perhaps the best guitar work I've ever heard out of a brutal death metal band. The riffs here are very catchy, just at a correct fast pace. Very well calculated. The drumming is also very fast, yet does not overpower the other instruments in volume, as is with most bands of this genre. These tracks have brillant structure, the best in my opinion would be Tunnel Of Ions, Voxel Mitosis, and Pulses In Rhombus Forms. The vocals, of course essential here, are some of the most inhumane that I have ever heard. Phlegeton unleashes the deepest growls and chaotic pitches that sometimes sound like someone drowning. His vocals sometimes do get repetitive on certain tracks, but I would definately say he is one of the better brutal death vocalists out there.
What most attracted me to this band also was the lyrics. Unlike every other brutal death metal band, that writes about gore, mutilation, and dismemberment, Wormed's lyrics are about space, mathematics, physics, complicated theories, and other related ideas. Even the band name, which is commonly mistaken to mean to be full of worms, actually according to Phlegeton, is an analogy. He believes that we on Earth are trapped inside a greater system, just as a worm is trapped inside in a stomach, and will never be able to reach what is on the outside.
This is definately worth a purchase to any fan of death metal or extreme metal in general. Wormed pushes boundaries without being generic or boring. We can only hope that they continue writing new material and perhaps inspire some more creativity in this dead and bland genre.
Apparently, Wormed can be slotted into the genre of 'brutal death metal'. Well, this really is far more than brutal. Indeed, 'brutal' does not even come close to describing the unbelievably sickening, guttural vocals; the impossibly distorted, crush-you-beneath-a-planet guitars; the battering, polyrhythmic drums; the disembowelingly thunderous bass; the schizophrenic and disorientating songs that dart, rotate and batter you from every direction. Anyone say mind-fuck? This is it, the very definition of that phrase; boundary-crossing extremity combined with a highbrow concept and lyrical drive. Prepare to be crushed.
Indeed, this is so VERY brutal that it begins to work on an entirely different level to 'normal' music. Notes no longer hold any melodic force; the tone and the tuning of the guitars and bass completely take the sharpness and clarity of the musical modes away, reducing them to clouds, shadows, vast hulks glittering in an eternal void. The riffs seem to hover like a monstrous black energy storm, throwing out bizarre, terrifying colours and shapes; the music is practically coming apart at the seams. This impression is bolstered by drumming that clatters through the dense fog, striking and slashing with endless invention, spinning from blast to groove to polyrhythm on a knife edge; unpredictable, unsettling and chaotic. The totally inhuman vocals - which simply must have been passed through a processer, because surely no man could make such sickening noises - ooze over the top like a wretchedly thick and viscous flow of black lava, spewing gutteral belches, croaks and groans that fit this music perfectly. They aren't the most extreme vocals ever (look to goregrind for that dubious honour, with vocal tracks that are nothing more than a rasping rattle) but they are sickening stuff for those that are more used to conventional vocalisations.
But is this just 'noise'? It seems that every time a work of music dares to step outside of the conventional and truly explore new depths of extremity, people start deriding it as 'noise', simply because they can't understand it. There's always a point where people drop off the end; be it classical fans who only find ultra-clean timbres listenable - those who would consider a trombone harsh and a distorted guitar a simply horrendous racket - or thrash fans who consider death metal nothing but pointless 'being brutal for the sake of it'-ism, or death metal fans who consider Wormed too incoherent and extreme to be anything worthwhile, or a power metal fan who thinks that Electric Wizard play musically inept noise. Where do you cross the line, o reader? Do the harsh and oppressive drones of Sunn O))) steamroller your sensebilities? Is it the wretchedly slow and minimalist medievil dungeon-doom of Moss which turns you away? Or do you switch off at the opposite extreme, bands so relentlessly complex, fast and heavy that you cannot keep up?
Calling this 'brutal just for the sake of it', would be akin to saying that Debussy based his music on intricate harmonies 'just for the sake of it'. It is a masterpiece that pushes music in new directions; it seems like the men of Wormed have crossed some kind of brutality threshold, and are at the point where notes, music and structure are prepared to unravel into something else entirely. But it all just holds together, to make this a work of almost frightening profundity and remorselessness. You'll be glad when it's over; and then you will listen again. Who can resist the chance to stare, full on, into the void?
Remember a band Lykathea Aflame? They put out the greatest Melodic Death Metal album of all time then vanished. Wormed are kinda like that, they just haven't vanished yet. However, although it's extremely arguable, this album gets my personal vote for the most brutal Death Metal album out right now.
Why? Several reasons. First and foremost, it's because Wormed escape the standard notion of brutality. This isn't blastrionics. Though, some of the speed Wormed pulls off is downright mind-bending, riffs are not of the natural structure at all, and take influence from bands like Cryptopsy, and even Cynic at times. What the actual sound is happens to be impossible to pinpoint. It's like grindcore in the aspect that a single rhythm has a completely unknown life to it. It could take a completely obtuse direction in a moments notice, or it could give in to the momentum. Sure, there's Devourment-like areas of breakdowns, but Devourment never had a guitar section that sounded like it could sear flesh. "Tunnel of Ions" starts like that.
Essentially, "Planesphaerium" is brutal because it's mind trickery. The rhythms fuck with you, like a towering behemoth of a monster with an ominous and slightly awkward swagger. The melody, although sparse, has a very torturous and uncomprehensible feel to them. It's like having a rubix cube that's impossible to decipher. You can't possibly understand every angle this album will try to bend your mind to, because it's that fucking brutal. It's so schizophrenic that it makes you break a sweat trying to review a song.
Then, beyond all the expansive overtones to the album, you've got the lyrics. Granted, it's stuck beneath mutters of the aforementioned "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr," this album is extremely visual. The songtitle alone infers to the exact method of mental torture the song can induce. "Tunnel of Ions" is named "Tunnel of Ions" because that's exactly what the song feels like. Transportation through an unstable, violent and turbulent hole. "Dehydrating." Slowly feeling every essence of life being pulled from your body. "Flattened into Nothing" would've worked in well, though.
If you do even get a chance to read the lyrics, the concept behind the album is extremely enlightening. Most of it deals with the fact that each of us are insignificant in contrast to a universe that's so amazingly expansive. It's not just existential tomfoolery either, the aspect of human life shares only 3% of the known chemicals with what makes up our entire universe.
Don't let the score fool you. There're flaws to this album, no doubt. The vocals are completely monotonous, and the production is rather poor. However, Wormed get a hundred because this album is more than just physically brutal. As heavy as it is, it's as much an assault on the mind as it is on the ears. Indeed, Wormed are not for the average, brutality-seeking, easily-entertained Metalhead. There's substance here that's going to make this band a cult phenominon in the near future.
I am still blown away by this CD. Planisphaerium is the most brutal death metal album to be released so far this decade. This album very well might be the most brutal metal CD to be released ever. It's an amazing effort by a young band from Madrid. Onto the review:
There is so much going on here. Every instrument fills its part, and every bit is as memorable as any metal moment. This is brutal death metal here, so the weak need not apply. For those brave enough to delve into the depths of Wormed, they shall be rewarded with what I believe is a triumph to heavy music. There are 4 instrumentalists on this record. The reason I say this is that Phlegeton's vocals are less like death vocals, and more like an abrasive percussion instrument. They are guttural and indecipherable and amazingly appropriate. The vocals on this record are quite frankly the most brutal heard since Demilich's Nespithe album (the only similarity I could conjur). Wormed are similar to early Cryptopsy in that the lyrics are stunning, yet you can't
understand a damned one without the lyrics sheet. Luckily, if you buy this album, the booklet comes with every lyric printed (definitely a plus).
The drumming on this album is fantastic. There's brutal blasts, and tremendously heavy double bass action. Some of my favorite album moments here are generated by the drums. Particularly, my favorite moment on this album is on the title track, around 1:24. The riff there (carried by the drumming) is liable to rip your face completely off your head. The one thing I might say that is a let down of the drum tone, is the lack of snare on the snare drum. Instead of a statisfying high pitched snare tone, you hear the
snare drum used as a high tom. It goes against the grain, but it doesn't take away the greatness of the drum performance. Plenty of snare when they play live, though. The drumming here is just breathtaking, however, so you really have no time to notice the tone unless you've listened as many times as I have.
The lyrics are good enough mentioning however, because they're certainly not your death metal obligatory gorefest. Have we seriously heard an album that doesn't say the word "blood" or "fire"? Can you say original? Heh heh. But seriously, this is (if you can believe it) a concept album. It's well above all of our heads, but from what I can tell, the lyrics here are about a bleak future existence where humans become an infestation on their own planet. In other words, we've all become the bugs that we so adamantly try to rid ourselves of daily. Great stuff, there...keep that CD booklet handy, folks!
The guitar work on here is excellent in an unconventional way. I wouldn't necessarily say that the riffs and rhythms are all that technical, they're just so damn good. The striking thing about the guitars on Planisphaerium is the TONE. The distorted-as-fuck stompbox insanity that J. Oliver wrenches from his down-tuned B.C. Rich is like you're definitely not to hear anywhere else. If I could even have this tone for five minutes on one song, I'd consider all my guitar practice to have paid off. I like that deep, murky tone just because it's just as indecipherable as Phlegeton's vocals. And you'll notice those vocals within 5 seconds of this album playing on your CD player.
Every riff on here is pretty memorable. You'll be surprised how well you know this album after only a few listens. This is one album where if you listen with headphones, you have to decrease the volume a bit, then ease yourself into the brutality. You must get used to it, but once you're in, you're hooked. If you're a fan of death metal and don't own this album you are doing yourself a great disservice.
Luckily, I had the chance to meet the guys in Wormed, and they are a very cool bunch. I hope this albus was as fun to make as it is to listen. It's just so polished for a debut album on an obscure Japanese label. This is simly one of the most brutal albums ever produced by human beings. I'm left begging for more every time I hear Phlegeton's delivery of this bleak line: "The creatures are making a strange metamorphosis/A lost culture become
I highly recommend this release to anyone who enjoys brutal metal at all. This will be one of the albums that you can't take out of your CD player. One good thing about the short length of the album is that you can listen to it twice in a row, and not be done with an hour yet. WORMED - PLANISPHAERIUM. Don't miss this one!
Among the ranks of the insane brutal death metal frontline comes Wormed. Although not a total stranger seen their previous "Floating cadaver in monochrome" (1999) demo and their "Voxel mitosis" single/promo, this is the first full-length from these Spaniards. And what a hell of a debut this is.
Anyone familiar with bands like Brodequin, Devourment, (the Mexican)Disgorge, Internal Suffering and Carnal know what style is to be expected here: guttural vocals, extreme blasts with odd tempos and patterns, full-on blasting guitars and bizarre bass-lines that seem to withdraw themselves from the total. This isn't music, it's a wall of noisy agression heading towards your eardrums faster then a grumpy rhinoceros on steroids. This is such an extreme brutal genre, few people can actually "listen" to it. Ask a random friend or family member to listen to this over 5 minutes. No-one without a trained ear will succeed. And even many metalheads will have severe difficulties grasping the very beauty of this album.
Because indeed, a beauty it is. Awesome riffs, devastating rhythems and vocals that make your shit watery. Their new versions of "Pulses in rhombus forms" and "Voxel mitosis" are even more devastating then before and with the remarkebly clear production, the entire thing sounds as a brick through a windshield. But a very brutal brick, through a very nice windshield. For those listeners who enjoy a nice brutal death metalsound, enjoy. For everyone else that thinks Cannibal Corpse is really, REALLY heavy, please stay away. This record is bound to damage your nervous system.
If you've read any of the other reviews, or even listen to any death metal, you already have a decent idea of what Wormed is about. Quite simply, they want to be the heaviest, craziest fucking band in the world. Were they successful? Pretty much.
Take Cryptopsy's brain-scattering technicality, the over all tone of Suffocation, the rhythmic stuttering riffs of Meshuggah, and the vocals of Anal Bleeding (probably the only band I've heard who's vocals are remotely this low), and you have, for the most part, Wormed.
After all I'd heard about this band, I had very high expectations. Fortunately, and even surprisingly, they were met. I really only have two complaints about this album. As odd of a thing as it is to say about a death metal CD, this is too short. This is probably one of the shortest, if not THE shortest LP I've ever seen. Finishing up in a mere (and just barely) 25 minutes, it might leave you saying ... "Where's the rest?" The production is my other complaint, it's by no means bad ... but, it is the only thing stopping this from being the heaviest material this side of uranium - the guitar, needs to be just a bit louder. And, despite it being heavier than most people could comprehend, it's not always as "aggressive" I guess, as say Origin. Of course, that's not a complaint, because Origin can get old pretty fast due to that fact.
Okay - I'm done complaining ... besides those pretty minor things, this CD completely destroys. I like the way the drums sound, raw and snappy, yet able to cut through the mix. The bass sticks out, will give you plenty of kick, but won't get over used in it's popping and stand-alone fills, like in other bands that copied Cryptopsy. The guitars have more crunch than a bag of Doritos (bad analogy ... but you get the point ...) and the vocals ...
It's not really possible for someone to review this CD without commenting on the vocals. I was actually not sure a human could make a sound so low. Ironically, it's like giant WORM, like from Star Wars or something ... the most gargantuan, ugly, lard-assed worm ever, with the ability to make noises someone similar to a human - at the same time though, he's pissed off, and flailing around like a crazy motherfucker ... yeah, that's what the vocals sound like.
And people mostly put this toward them being one of the heaviest bands in existence - and yet, it does add a huge amount, but you take that away, and there's plenty of bands on par. (And I was never one to say just because something heavy, doesn't mean it's good) But damn, it IS good. I also don't see why people call this "experiemental" - it's really not that strange. Minus the track "Fragments", and the extremely weird, and out of place passage in "Geodesic Dome" - there's nothing I'd call "experimental" ...
Unless you consider their odd lyrical concept to be part of that. I do enjoy that concept - it's different, it's cool, and it somehow really fits the music.
Geodesic Dome - Actually has some of the lowest vocals of all. Technical as Hell, has some good grooves, and of course the extremely weird, yet surpringly enjoyable, spacey, emocore-ish sounding(?) part. There's really nothing to compare that part to. Probably the best song on the CD.
Yuem - Weird, complex yet somehow catchy rhythme (Why can't Meshuggah do that?) some great drum playing on display, and another mind-numbing trip of technicality.
Final thoughts: the primary weakness of this album is it's length. It's TOO SHORT. Nothing gets time to gel, and you'll just find yourself having to listen to it 948 times ... and unfortunately, having done so, I still think the songs can sound alike at times ... but, damn, it's original regardless of the bizzare exprimental shit, and obviously one of the heaviest things you will ever hear in your life ... if you like brutal death metal, this is must.
I’ve come to realize that dictionaries everywhere need to be updated. Why? Because if you look up the word “chaos” as well as all of its synonyms, there aren’t any pictures of ‘Planisphaerium’ next to the definitions! This album is purely murderous and utter brain rape insanity from start to finish. Wormed’s first album is twenty five minutes of razorblade death metal riffs, bludgeoning bass, erratic double bass, heaps of heavy riffs, savage howls, and of course, extra slabs of riffs.
Each song pulsates with inhuman brutality, rage, and sheer technical fervency that it makes my brain bleed out. If you’re expecting something that will slow down and comfort you when you’re deplored, then you are gravely mistaken. You’re more likely to receive a lesion rather than a pat on the back. ‘Tunnel of Ions’ starts the album off with a sharp little guitar riff, which detonates the fuse on this baby and as a result, everything explodes into full out death metal Hell. God damnit, my shit has been ruined by the iron fist of booming bass, jaw dropping drum pummel, and super crunchy, shredding guitar riffs.
Mutilating riffs are always attacking you; there is no escape. The crunchy and sharp guitars slash and tear your skin away and rip it right off of your bones. There are many ultra technical riffs, similar to bands like Cryptopsy and later Cannibal Corpse, albeit they are not as punchy or possess as many hooks. The real problem is that the guitars aren’t loud enough. If you want to be battered and bashed, you need to have it LOUD! I want to be smashed into the ground until I’m suffocating and drowning in dominating riffs; not saved from it by some musical lifeguard (the ones who were responsible for the production of this album) who decided that the guitars were too dangerous to play with.
Ooooooo yay, while the lifeguards are busy with their dicks in their hands, the bass runs free causing complete chaos. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, DIE! The bass is easily heard in the mix as it grabs necks everywhere and smashes faces into the floor, leaving nothing but a bloody stump. That bass could break your face just by glancing at you if it wanted to. If anyone complained about the bass not being loud enough and they are still breathing today, then chances are that the bass deemed them unworthy of death and that going through life as a doofus would be much more of a fitting punishment.
Not enough beat down for you yet? Well, just wait until you get a taste of the throbbing drumming. Holy damn, this guy really goes above and beyond when it comes to speed while managing to keep it interesting. You know what I’m tired of? All of those death metal bands that just use blast beats, blast beats, and surprisingly, more blast beats…you won’t ever find Wormed using that cliché method in such a redundant manner like their ‘predecessors.’ The burley drum sound is like taking a hammer in face at the speed of a chain gun.
Hey, Schwarzenegger! Drop that chain gun and just carry Andy C. in your pocket whenever you want to really terminate something. This time no one will “be back.” This time, everyone dies.
It’s good to see that there is still some metal, especially death metal (which generally takes the cake for recursive and dull lyrics), that possesses lyrical intellect. What really strikes me into awe is the bands singer, Phlegeton, which happens to be one of the bands most distinguishable features. Holy shit, this guy sounds like a more guttural version of Lord Worm (Cryptopsy)! It’s almost impossible to believe that a human is capable of producing such raging, skull-fucking shrieks and growls. Listeners might want to take the safety of their temporal lobes into consideration before getting a taste of Phlegeton’s monstrous vocals.
I dare anyone to read about the concept of this album (this information can be obtained off of the band’s official website) and give feasible testament that the album’s story comes up short in the light of brilliance. Space, time, evolution, dimensions, and planets are the main keys in this unusual theme. Each song plays a unique roll in the story, but I leave it up to you, the reader, to discover that for yourself.
So, you think Dying Fetus is brutal? Give this a listen and learn what real insanity and violence sounds like. However, don’t tell anyone that I recommended this, because I do not want to be blamed for being an indirect factor for any brain damage that may occur.