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Interstellar Madness, Perfected. - 95%

Daemonium_CC, June 18th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Season of Mist (Digipak)

I remember very clearly when Wormed first exploded onto the scene in 2003 with “Planisphærium.” Here we had a completely unknown band from Madrid which released a devastating album seemingly completely out of the blue.

Then they pretty much disappeared.

They reemerged exactly 10 years later with their follow up, “Exodromos.” While a solid album, it went under the radar for most people, even though Wormed’s brand of ultra technical brutal death metal was obviously different and unique in a sea of death metal bands regurgitating the same riffs and same slams over and over again. I think by that time, people just had enough of the sub genre as a whole. Thankfully it would only be a mere 3 years for Wormed to strap their guitars back on again. And holy shit. Did they ever strap them on tight.

“Krighsu” certainly didn’t fly under anyone’s radar. Not this time around. Even people completely fed up with slams sat up and took note. Because with “Krighsu”, Wormed are not fucking around.

So what makes it so good? There are plenty of factors, though the first that comes to mind would be the overall state of maturity and growth the band has shown over the years. While they were never an immature slam band like for instance, I don’t know, a million other slam bands (Wormed actually has pretty good lyrics, and a solid theme to back them) with this effort it seems like all the stars finally aligned for them. Like they have finally figured out how to incorporate the slam sections with well thought out, tasty riffing. And this album is jam packed with them. Guitarists J. Oliver and Migueloud display and intense and often times extremely abstract form of riffage that is not usual in this genre. Extremely creative guitar playing throughout, and at times, just downright fucking strange. But that’s what makes this so incredible - the amount of creativity that went into these songs is staggering.

The album kicks off with “Pseudo-Horizon” and it’s pretty safe to say that this is one of the best openers for a death metal album - in any sub genre - PERIOD. The guitars give you a first taste of the dissonance, and the drums follow along perfectly, and the whole thing just downright explodes in your face with Earth shattering brutality - so perfect that it’s quite hard to believe the first time you hear it. When the intro is over and the song transitions into the first verse, it’s game over. There’s no way anyone is recovering from that breakdown which is what I imagine what a fucking galaxy were to sound like if it were to explode inside your head. And it all comes at you at once - no warning, no nothing. Bam, it’s just there. Deal with it.

Wormed continue to punish your senses throughout the album with a dizzying variety of guitars, vocals and drums. The musicianship on display here is stunning, each member a master, slicing and grinding through their parts with the precision of surgical steel. The drumming of G-Calero (who tragically died at just age 27) puts in a jaw dropping performance where he utilizes almost every trick in the book. If for nothing else, it’s worth listening to “Krigshu” because of the intense display of ass kicking G-Calero provides.

The production and sound on the album is exactly as it should be. Yes, the drums are triggered, but they sound great -anything else would just not do for this album. The drums are clear, punchy and sound organic enough that they don’t bother me in the slightest. The guitars have what seems like truckloads of gain on them, but again, they are perfect, and support the overall vibe and mood of the album perfectly. The vocals are simply amazing - you get everything you could ever ask for from a brutal death metal vocalist in Phlegeton, and they are not buried in the mix or too up front, either. They are exactly where they need to be.

Overall, what makes this album special is that the band obviously thought about this one long and hard. They give the listener some breathing space, so it’s just not pure ass kicking for the entire duration of the album. And trust me, this album is so dense, so full of material that it’s amazing that they managed to pack it all into just under 35 minutes. It can be exhausting to listen to, but it’s paced masterfully and beautifully. One might be fooled to think that it all sounds the same, but trust me, there is so much to discover here, and it doesn’t just require, but demands your attention. New things are to be discovered with each and every listen. I honestly don’t think I’ve listened to such a dense death metal album before. What Wormed managed to pull off here is nothing short of amazing, and I can’t wait for the new one.

Originally written for Antichrist : http://antichristmagazine.com

The pinnacle of slam - 100%

Mailman__, February 28th, 2018

In 2016, Wormed released their latest work, "Krigsu."  It contains riffs more complex than previous efforts and dissonance that is less produced by the guitars and more through effects and samples.  It is the second album in a series of concept albums (I think, but "Planisphærium" might be part of the series as well) of which tell a story through astrological terms and ultra-sci-fi themes of which I understand none of.

So this album is their third album and I think that it's their best yet.  In other words, they got better and better as they went (for the most part), learning from their mistakes and improving them.  One mistake they improved upon on this album is the lack of breathing room in "Exodromos."  If you read my review of their second full-length, I mentioned that it was a very tight album with little room for the listener to breathe.  On their 2016 album, they have given plenty of room for the listener to take in what they just listened to.  For example, "Algiptian Codex Cyborgization," "The Singulitarianism," and "Eukaryotic Hex Swarm" are three songs all in a row that I would say are composed of a total of five in a half minutes total of actual riffage, while the rest is made up of dissonance and cool space-y effects.  In other words, Wormed gives us time to catch up while still annihilating our eardrums with more slams and technical experimentations.

The riffs on this album are incredible.  They're pretty similar to what was heard on "Exodromos," but these are much better.  Take "Pseudo-Horizon," for example.  This is the opening track and it starts with one of the most face-melting riffs Wormed has ever written.  The complexity and precision on this song is one of the biggest reasons that this is such a standout album.  Another great example of Wormed's advanced riffage is "Computronium Pulsar Nanarchy."   After coming out of the mostly dissonant songs that are tracks three, four, and five, this song perfectly ties up all of the dissonant sounds with a completely brutal assault of riffs.  That is not to say that it is disruptive, therefore ruining the flow, no, it maintains the flow created by the dissonance perfectly.

So I mentioned the flow of the album.  Yeah, it's definitely something that is relevant.  Take Hell's "Human Remains" or maybe The Zenith Passage's "Solipsist."  If you have listened to one of these albums, you know that each song ties up with the next one.  "Krighsu" is sort of like that.  Every song ties in to the next one, but the transition is much smoother and more thought out that the aforementioned bands (as they sort of slap cool sounds behind their music and have it play onto the next track in order to give the album more flow).  I'm not saying I don't like what those bands did, but Wormed does it in such cleaner way that I just have to talk about it.  There is not one moment where my interest isn't peaked.  Even when I listen to "57889330816.1," the shortest song on here and the only one without any music (not including three very ominous notes), I am still very intrigued.  This is because the previously mentioned song has a lot of buildup.  Also, it's just a really cool-sounding track and I love every sound that comes from it.  Something else that I like about it is that it's another place to breathe, a much needed break after the ultra-heavy "A-Life Omega Point" just destroyed my ability to hear.

There are a lot of things to love about this album.  The riffs, the vocals, the production, etc.  Speaking of the production, It's good enough that you can actually hear everything, but it's not clean to the point of which it sacrifices the brutality of the album.  I mean this is Wormed we're talking about.  You need to hear everything.  Their music is complex and multi-layered.  It needs good production.

Also, a shoutout to Phlegeton for executing such perfect vocals for such a band as this.  His vocals are deep, guttural, and harsh, giving the album an even more ominous appearance than its song titles, album title, and lyrics already provide.  I mean this guy is awesome.  Not only does he sing for this band, but he also makes the album artwork (as well as for a lot of other bands including Vomit Remnants and Katalepsy).

This is slam metal at its finest; it's slam metal at its very peak.  I do not think that this genre will go past the bar set by "Krighsu," but if it does, it will be because Wormed just released a fourth album.  Or a fifth, depending on how good the fourth one will be.

Overall Rating: 100%

Originally written for themetalvoid.wordpress.com

Overhyped, full of boring chugging - 65%

Ahmed_R, January 20th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Season of Mist (Digipak)

Wormed's third album starts off incredibly with "Pseudo-Horizon," beginning with a lightning fast riff that drops jaws when I play it for people and ending with a breakdown fit to have been on Exodromos.

Unfortunately, most of the rest of the album is just forgettable filler chugging. This album is comparable to Butchered at Birth in that you've got a band famous for their brutality and a fantastic album cover but no meat inside, just chugging that can't live up to the artwork.

There are surprising, good bits here and there, and you can hear things from both of their previous albums shining through. "The Singularitarianism" features a brief acoustic breakdown similar to what you heard on "Geodesic Dome"; "Computronium Pulsar Nanarchy" has that bass twang that underlined the title track "Planisphærium." Neither of those elements were used on Exodromos, so it's nice to hear them finally doing some Planisphærium-style stuff in such clear, professional production.

But things don't get that interesting again until track 6, "Computronium Pulsar Nanarchy", and the following song, "A-Omega Life Point." These sound exactly like what you'd expect three years after Exodromos, and the slow interlude afterwards has more sound effects in the background - whereas the interludes on Exodromos had guitar riffs in the background - making the whole track slower and colder. This calm-in-the-storm technique is a genuine improvement.

"Zeroth-Energy Graviton" directly evokes "Techkinox Wormhole" in all it's bizarreness and the album finishes with a sound-effect and sample laden outro track.

There are some really, really good things about this album - a strong opener and a solid block of what Wormed does best at the end. But there's so much in the middle I struggle to even comment on because it's so forgettable and I space out when listening to it, something I can't say about either of their previous albums. There are some callbacks to their first album and some improvements from their second, but overall this is my least favorite Wormed album.

The only worms I enjoy being riddled with - 91%

MikeyC, November 28th, 2016

Wormed have never been a “big” band, but their debut album Planisphaerium proved to be an underground hit back in 2003. Then they seemed to fall off the planet, and a whole decade later released Exodromos, which, at least to me, took everything they did in their debut and made it better. I never really considered that these Spaniards could realistically surpass that, considering the technicality and brutality on show. I am so glad to be wrong. Just like the progression previously, Wormed take everything good about Exodromos and improve on it in every way in Krighsu.

Wormed play brutal death metal, but it’s not really conventional in the sense that they tend to move from one idea to the next throughout all their songs. Don’t allow this to be a deterrent, because despite the constantly shifting transitions, the songs still have a flow to them that a lesser band would not be able to pull off. Each section feels like the logical next step in every song and its seamlessness makes for an album that does not reach 35 minutes, yet feels like you have listened to a long and complex album, spanning many ideas and moods (well, one main mood of brutality, but I hope you understand what I’m getting at here). The opener “Pseudo-Horizon” might be a false sense of security since that may be one of the more straight-edge tracks here, if such a term can be used to discuss anything in Krighsu. When “Neomorph Mindkind” comes in with its brutal yet slightly groovy opening riff, that feels like one of a plethora of ideas you’ll come across in that song, making it perhaps one of the more challenging, but at the same time one of the most engagingly complex. And each song here, apart from the cool interlude track “57889330816.1” (I bet you didn’t read that number!) offers something that you can easily recognise the song itself, instead of it being a total coagulated mess. From the awesome brutal ending to “Agliptian Codex Cyborgization” to the mid-section break in “A-Life Omega Point” which contains maybe the only repetition you’ll likely remember, to the stop/start headbanger in “Zeroth-Energy Graviton,” every song conveys several ideas that not only sound good, but sound fluent. That’s not particularly easy to do when you’re being bombarded with brutality from all sides.

As brutal as this album is, it still manages to hook the listener in with fantastic riffs and impeccable drumming. I’m a huge fan of how both of these things work in tandem, but I’m particularly impressed with how memorable the riffs are in this thing, showcasing that Wormed aren’t trying to be brutal for brutal’s sake. Isolating one good riff will do the others no justice, so I’m not even going to downplay the importance of the guitars at all. Almost guaranteed you won’t catch every riff on the first listen, or even the second, but repeated spins will eventually reveal the secrets and you’ll notice that each riff has been meticulously hand-crafted. What helps capture the punch they provide is the excellent production, where everything can be clearly heard, but also leaving room for some slight sci-fi penetrations, mostly found between songs but can also be heard within them – the ending to “A-Life Omega Point” as an example. And the drumming should also be mentioned, as there is a lot of blasting and double kick action filling up every square centimetre of this. There appears to be more variety in the drumming from Exodromos, as well, which gives Krighsu a little more life and expands on their formula even more.

Lyrically, Krighsu is a fantastic read, detailing some pretty interesting sci-fi themes, so if there’s any downside to this, it would be the vocals are completely indistinguishable! I actually really like the vocals here, as they accompany the album quite nicely, but more legibility would enhance the lyrical themes so much. It’s a huge pity but that’s brutal death metal for you. Despite not being able to growl along with the vocalist, reading the lyrics is the next best thing. You might scratch your head but that’s how Wormed like it.

I think the strength of Krighsu is how seemingly random sections all fit together. Other bands can attempt the same style and fail in spectacular fashion, but Wormed make it work like it’s their day job. This is a well-crafted, high-octane brutal concoction, but also expansive by leaving enough space to let the music still be able to breathe and pummel the listener with riff after glorious riff. The band gets better with age and this is their pinnacle…so far.

Let the worm travel beyond the stars - 99%

slayrrr666, April 26th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Season of Mist (Digipak)

The third full-length from Spanish brutal/tech death masters Wormed captures the insanity and blistering performances that once put them on the map in the first place. From the outset this effort places with the sort of mechanical approach to the riffing style that it really manages to overwhelm on just that level alone, whipping up whirlwinds of savage rhythms with a stunningly complex and challenging series of patterns and arrangements that make for a truly engaging time displaying this kind of intensity at that velocity. The utterly pummeling drumming furthers this nicely with it just obliterating everything around it with a sense of blistering devastation carrying those tightly-wound rhythms along throughout the rather impressive and dynamic paces here. Even grooving along at mid-tempo doesn’t alter this one up that much as the blasting drumming and tight, challenging rhythms offer this one with a complex and truly overwhelming cohesion with the faster tracks that it doesn’t deter or slow down the momentum all that much. Tying all this together with the cosmic/celestial theme makes for a truly exhilarating experience as well by making such a seamless mixture with the rampaging brutality and mechanical technicality that there’s little doubt it should’ve been mixed together from the start and gives this a truly enjoyable experience. The shorter interludes here don’t really offer much beyond breathers in an otherwise clobbering and devastating offering, but there’s little about it that needs fixing it’s nearly perfect as is.

The first half here sets things up utterly well. Opener ‘Pseudo-Horizon’ slowly turns into utterly pounding, unrelenting drumming and ferocious, frenzied riff-work taking on challenging patterns keeping the speed-drenched patterns and challenging arrangements utterly drenched in challenging riff-work as the blasting drum-work continues on throughout the final half for an utterly explosive and dynamic opening effort. ‘Neomorph Mindkind’ immediately works through complex chugging rhythms and frenetic blasting drumming with plenty of ferocious patterns firing along into a stuttering mid-tempo series of rhythms keeping the strong celestial rhythms along into the challenging, tight rhythms in the finale for another strong and utterly impressive effort. ‘Agliptian Codex Cyborgization’ offers blistering drumming and complex rhythms charging along through the utterly dynamic and furious riffing charging alongside the blasting, pummeling drumming keeping the intensity flowing into the frenzied, tight and complex patterns blasting into the final half for another over-the-top display of brutality. ‘The Singularitarianism’ fires off utterly pummeling, frenzied drumming alongside tight, complex grooves charging through the stuttering tempos with the blistering drumming blasting through into the celestial noise interlude finale for an effective if still devastating breather. ‘Eukaryotic Hex Swarm’ carries the main celestial noises through into the blasting drum-work alongside the celestial rhythms from the tight, complex drumming charging along into the thumping rhythms and challenging, complex patterns keeping the celestial vibe through the final half fadeout for a strong effort overall.

The second half keeps up the quality of the first half incredibly well. ‘Computronium Pulsar Nanarchy’ features thumping rhythms and tight drumming offering plenty of blistering drum-work with the celestial rhythms carrying the frenetic, blistering drum-patterns into the full-throttle series of complex rhythms charging alongside the frantic rhythms leading into the celestial noise fade-out finale for another strong highlight. ‘A-Life Omega Point’ features plenty of blistering full-throttle drumming alongside stuttering riff-work through challenging, complex patterns with tight drum-work keeping the stuttering rhythms holding alongside the furious thumping work alongside the ravenous thumping drumming holding the challenging rhythms on through the final half for stellar back-to-back highlights. ‘57889330816.1’ uses a deep, droning series of celestial noise and technologically-scrambled voices setting up the concept storyline as it segues into follow-up ‘Zeroth-Energy Graviton’ blistering through a series of blasting drumming and tight, complex grooves chugging along through complex rhythms and rather frantic patterns full of intense rhythms from the blasting drumming keeping the thumping riff-work along through the brutal blasting in the final half for another stand-out release. Finally, the epic closer ‘Molecular Winds’ takes ferocious riffing chugging alongside blasting drum-work with plenty of frantic patterns keeping the ferocious arrangements and challenging patterns through the tight drumming blasting alongside the churning riffing and rather pummeling celestial patterns working alongside the tight, choppy sections driving into the finale for an utterly pummeling lasting impression here.

This was just an overall blistering release containing nearly everything that a full-on fan of the band or brutal technical death metal will lap up instantly, not only making this one of the best albums in their already-stellar career but immediately earns it a top spot in the genre that will be hard to surpass.