WORMPHLEGM - In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious (Retrospective)
Village stalwart Izzy is delivering a fresh retrospective review every Friday! Make sure to check in weekly for a dose of nostalgia. - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
Get out your rubber spiders, fake blood, and dollar store fog machine--it’s October 30th and tomorrow is Halloween! It’s my favourite holiday, probably unsurprisingly if you know me, and so I wanted to make a special review for you all this Hallow’s Eve. I thought about it for a bit, and decided I would review the scariest album I’ve ever heard, now for most people that might take some thinking, but for me I immediately knew the one and only album deserving of that title for me.
Wormphlegm’s debut project… *ahem*, In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious, a 32 minute single track demo which for the sake of brevity I will refer to shortened as In an Excruciating Way.
If you aren’t familiar with this band, here’s a brief history lesson: Wormphlegm was a brief two man project, formed in 2000 by Matti Mäkelä and Lauri Lindqvist of Tyranny, A.K.A. Drummer “Maggotworm Incinerator Abcess”, and guitarist/bassist “Grvbgorge Pestilent Diarrhoeator”, with the two both also performing vocals. They’ve gone numerous other pseudonyms while making music under the Wormphlegm moniker, including “Apostatic Excrementor” and “Dirtmaster,” and are clearly some charming fellows I’m sure. They released one demo/album in 2001, which is the subject of today’s review, In an Excruciating Way, and a non-demo album in 2006 titled Tomb of the Ancient King (which I have admittedly not listened to but heard was also pretty good.) The band then split up shortly after its release, leaving them with a legacy of those two cult classics. Not bad for a band with such a short run.
So why is this random demo the scariest album I’ve ever heard? Well, there is an absolutely oppressive terror to Wormphlegm’s music instrumentally--sullen and crushingly lethargic funeral doom with a depressive blackened edge, weaving eerie leads and crestfallen melodies through the hostile sections of vicious almost death-doom like heaviness.. On their own these elements already form an unnerving and haunting atmosphere, but the aspect of their music that truly terrifies me is their vocals.
The bloodcurdling wails and anguished howls present on In an Excruciating Way left me reeling in my chair when I first heard them. It can not be accurately described through words alone the horrifying and inhumane quality they possess; these throat-tearing screams produce such a bestial noise that simply does not sound like it was ever meant to emerge from the human throat. They makes Silencer sound like Mariah Carey in comparison.
A common urban legend is that the band members allegedly would self harm during their vocal recording to create genuine screams of anguish and pain, and while I couldn’t find any material to substantiate these claims, it only further adds to the lore of this enigmatic band because for all I know that could be true, and this rumoured practice has also lead to them being referred to as “torture doom,” a non-genre that many later funeral doom bands would adopt in tribute.
While funeral doom is often an acquired taste, with its extremely long tracks and sluggish pace, one of In an Excruciating Way’s biggest strengths comes from the fact it does not overstay its welcome, you are presented with a half hour of the most bone-chilling black/doom out there and then it disappears into the mist, no need to commit 80 minutes to a single song, and because of that I implore you to give this record a try, turn off the lights and get out your best speakers/headphones. Reading some nerd talk about it online is one thing, actually hearing it yourself is a completely different experience.
Wormphlegm - In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious was released in 2001 via Phlegmcum Productions
Wormphlegm don't exist on the internet, evidently.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!