(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new EP by the Spanish technical death metal band Wormed, which was released on July 19th by Season of Mist.)
Wormed are, without a doubt, one of the more ridiculous acts in Metal.
And I mean that entirely as a compliment.
Despite conventional wisdom that “less is more” the Spanish quartet have made a career out of their seemingly endless pursuit of ludicrous excess, with practically every song (and album) attempting to be faster, heavier, and louder – more beats per minute, more notes per second, more babbling sci-fi nonsense – than the one before it.
It’s perhaps ironic, then, to find that the band’s latest EP strongly suggests that sometimes less IS more, as these four tracks prove to be just the right bite-sized portion to allow both new and old listeners to get their fill of brutal techstravagance without feeling like their overstuffed brains are going to explode at the end of it.
It’s also extra-gratifying to see the band continuing to push themselves despite the unfortunate losses and line-up changes which they’ve been forced to endure in recent years, and one listen to the chugnacious gutturality of opener “Remote Void” should be enough to convince even the most sceptical listener that the newly reconstituted quartet have lost none of their power or precision in the three years since Krighsu.
Not only that, but despite the band’s general modus operandi being one of “more = better”, each of these four tracks makes it painfully clear that there’s a definite method to the band’s multiversal madness, one which… whisper it… even finds room for a few moments of surprisingly meaty and organic groove (“Cryptoubiquity” being a perfect example) amidst all the calculated chaos, hyper-mechanical riffage, and cripplingly contorted song structures.
As a matter of fact the whole EP feels just a tiny bit slower and groovier (whether that’s strictly true in terms of tempo I don’t know), but also significantly denser and darker, than its predecessor. Heck, the brooding piano intro to “E-Xystem://CE” means it’s a full eleven seconds before the song really kicks in, and there are even parts in the track where – in between all the pneumatic, strobing blastery – the guitars take on an almost (but not quite) doomy tone that’s, arguably, quite at odds with what most people think of when they think of Wormed.
So while Metaportal may not be a massive quantum-leap for the band’s sound, it still hits the spot nicely while also demonstrating that Wormed are a band continuing to evolve… albeit into exactly what I cannot say…