Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wormed - Quasineutrality (Pathologically Explicit Recordings; 2010)

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.

Oh, and Phlegeton is one of the best graphic designers in metal; case-in-point, this cover art and layout.

P.S. RELATED NEWS! Scientists in Geneva, Switzerland just made new headway in their search for the God Particle during a proton collision experiment underground at CERN...they made a high-energy rate record earlier today with the smashing of two proton beams. Wormed's lyrics may not be fiction after all! All joking aside, this is cool news, and I am sure it gave Phlegz something new to write about, or at least some inspiration.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cenotaph Album Coming Out Soon

Veteran Turkish brutal death metal band Cenotaph are releasing a new album called Putrescent Infectious Rabidity. It will be released on Sevared Records and Coyote Records. I love this band so I am very excited. They've  been a band for over ten years and their last album showed no signs of decline so I doubt this one will either. My sources at Ultimate Metal tell me it will be available by the time of Maryland Deathfest (late May).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Wormed Single Released

This is what we've all been waiting for since the release of Planisphaerium in 2003. Wormed have finally released new material. Right now it's just a two song single called Quasineutrality, but this bodes well for an upcoming full length. I've only listened to the myspace tracks a couple times but it sounds awesome to me. The only thing bad thing about this is that the new Wormed CD and merch are all the way across the Atlantic from me and as such difficult to purchase. I love Wormed more than practically any other band, so this is making me really excited. If you haven't listened to this yet you need to.

Link: www.myspace.com/wormed

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dying Fetus - Descend into Depravity (Relapse Records; 2009)

One of the things we try to do here at Slam-Minded is write about upcoming and unknown slam bands that we like so that hopefully other people will like them as well. I'm going to depart from that goal today however and instead review an album from probably the best known slam band of all time. Whether or not Dying Fetus really fit in the slam genre is a reasonable argument but not one I really want to have. Instead I'll say that I really like Dying Fetus and that they've had a huge influence on my taste in metal and I think on the brutal death metal scene as a whole.

That being said though what have they done for us lately? I think if you ask your average death metal fan they'll tell you their favorite Dying Fetus album is one of their earlier works like Killing on Adrenaline or Infatuation with Malevolence. 2007's War of Attrition was good but in my opinion too opaque and dense to really get into. With this in mind I went into Descend into Depravity with some skepticism. I am very happy to report that my skepticism was unwarranted, this album rules.

This is definitely a throwback to the more groove oriented sound Dying Fetus had in their earlier days. The album I'd compare this most to is Killing on Adrenaline which is my personal favorite. Of course it sounds like it was recorded in the late 00s rather than the mid 90s but the same kind of riffs are there. For those who haven't heard Dying Fetus before what you'll get here is a lot of catchy grooves mixed with lightning fast arpeggios and stomping blasts. I hesitate to say that these grooves are slams because they don't really sound like other slam bands, but they're working off the same idea and they're awesome. Musicianship is top notch as you would expect from this veteran band. It seems like they decided to focus on making the grooves the focus of the songs rather than having-encompassing technicality which weakened their previous album War of Attrition.

Despite all the lineup changes that Dying Fetus has had to endure, they still manage to put out great records and this one is even better than I had a right to expect. I'd put it as the best Dying Fetus album of the 2000s. If you haven't picked this one up yet do so and if you haven't listened to Dying Fetus before this is a good place to start.