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Wormed's "Planisphaerium" was one of those albums that got people talking. It was equal parts brutal and horrific as it was pseudo-intellectual and psychedelic. The parts where the riffing caved your skull in, Phlegeton was pretty much belching poorly placed scientific terms and mathematical concepts, and the whole of the atmosphere was credited to that very trippy and bizarre atmosphere that a brutal death metal band had somehow stumbled upon.
With this 2-song promo the band completely upped the ante, outdid themselves, and made several others look like mall core bands in the process.
Phlegeton's trademark croaks return and given the newfound powerhouse production his vocals sound amazing. There's even what sounds like a vocoder in the second song. And despite the truly horrid song titles and lyrics that still don't sit well with me; the whole vocal sound is top notch.
Speaking of that production, dear God they've stepped it up. The only real quantifiable problem with "Planisphaerium" was the absolutely tinny production sound that made a sick death metal band sound like a terrible garage black metal band.
And because of that production overhaul the succulent riffing is so much more audible, resulting in what is some of the most enjoyable death metal on the planet: backbreaking riffing, truly twisted melodic sections, and slams the world over. If they can manage to expand this sound into 7 or 8 songs, we might have one of the better modern death metal bands.
The drumming is, as usual, very well done and features what you would expect. Yes the blast beats and furious double bass is there, but Wormed's inclusion of stark transitions with jazz breaks and off-kilter double stop (something usually found only in guitar music rather than percussion) creates this hectic experience that elevates the band to totally new levels.
They are fucking back, ladies and gents. Wormed are back.
Though it's been around 7 years now since Planisphaerium, I think it's a testament to that album's intensity and thoroughly asskicking nature that people still talk about it to this day, and we, as slam fans, still utterly worship it. Thus, it is with great pleasure that I have received this new single by this reborn, reformatted Spanish technical slam/deathgrind band.
The song "Uncoloured Plasma Orifices Transported" begins with a lurching riff, before blasting into oddly atonal, shifting, looming riff-phrases backed by Phlegeton's always insane vocal spew. It is to be noted that, though Andy is missing on drums (quite obviously, too), Phlegeton also handles skins duty on this recording, and he does an admirable job, as he has done in several black and death metal bands since Wormed's seemingly endless descent into the very black hole their sci-fi concept would be likely to dream up. Phlegz bashes out some good transitions and fills, but the whole thing feels a bit too "calculated" on the rhythm section side; some would say this is for the better while I think I may have to warm up to it a bit. The way the riffs are written, at least, fits well with the way he plays drums, so that is at least a remarkable aspect of the work here. The middle of the song boasts a nearly melodic and hypnotic section that is reminiscent of one of those isolated, beautiful moments on both Planisphaerium and Floating Cadaver in the Monochrome (though nothing, nothing touched "Ectoplasmic Iconosphere [D.1]"'s acoustic section...possible best moment in slam ever).
Track 2, "Undeciphering the Unquantificability" is an exercise in extremity in about the same way the title is an exercise in pronunciation. This is where this single comes into its own and makes me really excited for the future. While the first track is more like Wormed-via-Gorguts, this is like Wormed-via-Wormed, and a perfect foil to the first song in terms of being much more "brutal" and balls-out. An absolutely ridiculous double bass run, with ludicrously low, guttural vocals and a traditional killer slam melds perfectly into the next section of sheer extremity, and Wormed roll with the changes their musical schizophrenia unleashes like absolute champs; and so they should, given the standard most people, including me, hold them up to at this point. If you aren't doing something new in slam, and if you are simultaneously not good at what you are doing, stop doing it. I appreciate some good old slam death here and there but I really think this is next-level stuff for the genre. We'll see if they can keep this up for a whole new album...I think they can. However, if every song on the new album is over 4 minutes, it will be interesting to see if they can keep the momentum going for 8+ full songs. It should be interesting, and it likely will be absolutely mindblowing.
Buy or die. If you like slam, you have no business not supporting this band.
Originally written for Slam-Minded Blog.