Written by: Blackie Skulless
Since the band’s black metal inception, Worm have slowly moved away from that raw and punishing sound towards something far more layered, swiftly becoming a doom/death icon. Last year’s Foreverglade (review here!) saw a complete realization of this, cleaning up all of the loose ends that Gloomlord beheld. The early black metal influence certainly still peaked its head, but each subsequent record would see it become more and more of a background technique. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t present, just less obvious.
And then Bluenothing happened. One year following the album that really sent them to a broader scope, Worm dropped an EP that takes the influence they mastered and brings forth more atmosphere and reflects more on the black metal. Fear not, as this is still packed with the bleak and empty voids of cleaner doom wails crossed with rhythms holding the force of a hydraulic press. But there’s a higher presence of keys to coincide with the higher guitar wails, and contrast the harsher death metal bottom.
Looking at the long and blistering title track, this alone scratches every itch with the higher organs, spaces of intense buildup, sided with pockets of different organ-like effects under a gazey echo. The blackened elements show more with the drawn out shrieks as well as the occasional blast beat. Without this fantastic layering and extreme focus on each instrument properly, I’m very unsure that this would have worked as well. Hell, even the drums feel so much louder on the slower trudges, invoking explosive minefields amongst a gloomy, desolate soundscape. The inability to tell when things are going to shift entirely the opposite direction seals the deal so wonderfully.
I really didn’t think it was going to be possible for this band to match their last full-length, but I’ll be damned if Bluenothing doesn’t do just that. The other three tracks, nearly adding up to the length of the first one, act in the same manner, just breaking it up a bit, rather than keeping things as one continuous track. Falling just shy of the thirty minute mark, they fill every bit of the space wonderfully. The freezing cold environment working into such an otherwise clean disc is such an unexpected, but welcome charm, and it makes me look forward to another full-length even more.
Worm - Bluenothing was released October 28, 2022 via 20 Buck Spin.Buy it here!
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