Almost Human

No longer a band with international members, USA’s brutal tech death metal/deathcore band Wormhole returns with their third album, Almost Human, and debut on Season of Mist Records.

Wormhole has been around for 8 years and their 2016 debut, Genesis, caught my attention with the monstrous tech brutality and brutal beatdown slams.  Outside of the Deathcore influences Spanish brutal tech death metal band, Wormed, comes to mind when listening to Wormhole.  Over the top brutality played with such precision, along with the otherworldly alien themed covers and sounds, I was further impressed with their sophomore outing The Weakest Among Us, in 2020.  That is the album that put Wormhole on the map.

The band began garnering interest for more shows, I started seeing the band mentioned more and more, and album reviews began popping up…Then as the Covid restrictions began lessening the band was getting on tours and overseas shows as well.  Since the last album, on Almost Human, joining guitarists: Sanil Kumar/Sanjay Kumar and Matt Tillett on drums are new bassist Basil Chiasson and vocalist Julian Kersey (ex-Aegaeon).  The additions prove no drop off in the Wormhole sound and hopefully, this lineup will stay intact, as several of the members are dispersed throughout the United States.

All three of Wormhole’s albums are under 30 minutes and that works for me.  Music this over the top, is best served in shorter spurts because it punches with a lot more impact.  If you were to take Cryptopsy’s first 2 legendary albums, Wormed, deathcore leanings and added in a little bit of spice and off-kilter styled patterns throw them in a blender, Wormhole would pour out.

“System Erase” is the longest song at 3.34 and opens the album with a vicious blast beat and there are those off-kilter start and stop blast beat patterns.  The riff pattern over the 1.40 blast beat is crunchy and heavy and the song slows down as Kersey’s vomitrocious gutturals are all over the –  place-clogged-sewer pipe styled vocals to smash your head to.  The blast a minute later, gets into more of the dissonant ethereal sections, reminding me a lot of New Zealand’s Ulcerate.  So the technical proficiency has leaped forward quite a lot in the last 3 years, for Wormhole.  This is an excellent opening song and more of the dissonant structure returns with the opening of the second song “Elysium”, which was the bands single for this album, introducing the new members to the overall public. They even shot a video for the song.  At the 1.28 mark a killer and putrid growl erupts and the song gets into some weird slow jumpy patterns, with more incredible growls…At this point, I am not really picking up the deathcore influences, unlike their prior releases.  The song blasts forward and around the 2.48 part, the guitar solos over the fast moments have a Cynic vibe to them.  Very progressive and intriguing.

“Delta Labs” has a monstrously heavy opening moment with another outstanding vomiting growl and this slower heavier opening is brutal as shit.  The song picks up the pace with the brutal blast beats and some excellent drum rolls and isolated guitar moments and that deathcore beat-down moment erupts at the 1.15 section.  It’s vicious and goes on for a bit before the beat-down moments return.  Throw this sucker of a song, slap dab in the middle of the live set and bodies will explode on impact.  One of the heaviest songs the band has ever created.

“Bleeding Teeth Fungus” starts with ferocious blast beats. Stop and start patterns and more killer gutturals and more technical elements erupting all over the place.  I love the isolated guitar riff moments throughout this track, which are the Holy Shit moments.  Every time the isolated guitar riff comes in the song then zooms right into monstrous blast beats and crazy vocals.  Some of the blasting definitely reminds me of early Cryptopsy, which is a huge plus.

Almost Human is Wormhole’s best album.  The band has progressed more on their instruments and incorporated increased technical and progressive moments throughout this album.  I did not think this band could get wilder, yet they have outdone themselves.  With further experimentation, such as the dissonance, the band has scaled back on their deathcore moments.  They are still there but in brief spurts throughout the album.  The new additions are excellent, especially the vocalist, and the bass guitar plucking madness continues on this album.  The album cover, once again with the alien/space weirdness, is very eye-catching and filled with excellent use of the color orange.  This album owns!


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
November 10th, 2023


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