Worm
Gloomlord (Reissue)

I’m going to lay this out on the table (like I did your mom, son) and just let you know I am a Worm fan. I’m a fan of the Worm. I like Worm, see? This all may have come out wrong, but if I do my job right, you’ll all be ready to take on some Worm. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get penisy.

Anyway, if there’s a band who has undergone more of a clear, yet excellent evolution, I don’t know them. Go ahead, come up with an example. I’ll wait… Nevermind, I have things to do.

If you’ve followed Worm’s trajectory like I (although not in the correct order), you know that they started as a black metal band on their demos and first full length, Evocation of the Black Marsh. Before that I had heard and worshipped Foreverglade, which could qualify as blackened death doom, and their latest EP, Bluenothing, which mixed those elements with post metal and shoegaze. There was that missing piece, which I now know is Gloomlord, the in-between album I jumped on to review when I saw it. After hearing it, everything just makes perfect sense.

Don’t take that the wrong way as this is in no way the mess of an album some “transitional” ones can be.

For example, check out track 1, which has a brief intro that could be the beginning of pretty much anything, but when you hear that amp feedback, you’re almost thinking lo-fi black metal, yet the intro riff is still playing, also putting you in the doom frame of mind. Once the vocals come in, you’re probably leaning towards funeral doom. Then the pattern changes into a riff which sounds like a mixture of both. So, call it what you wish.

… and I shall. On this one, the two longest tracks are the last two. For clarity purposes, this is a 5 song, 40-minute album, so those are tracks 4 and 5.

The 4th, “Melting in the Necrosphere,” is a heavy monster, which has a death doom riff and stomp. It also has that unmistakable death metal rumble in parts, giving me Autopsy vibes. In fact, the death metal on display has sort of that “moist” feel that our fearless leader mention. This is by far the most death metal of any track here, despite the quiet outro.

The last track, “Abysmal Dimensions,” is over 11 minutes. The vocals, as they have on most of the album, have that reverb-soaked, recorded in a dungeon black metal aesthetic, except they mix in gutturals. However, about 2 minutes in, you’re given a heavy, driving death metal riff and the vocals stay low. I love the mixture of their elements, which makes me want to immediately listen to Foreverglade.

This is not my favorite Worm album, but that makes it no less essential, if not only for the experience of properly witnessing their trajectory. However, this is still excellent. This band keeps getting better with each release, and all of them are great. They are one of the most original heavy bands I’ve recently heard, and I have a lot of belief they’ll keep getting stronger.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
January 20th, 2023

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