Written by: Blackie Skulless
Taking formation about a decade ago, Worm built themselves on a black metal laced template that would evolve by the time their debut came out in 2017. Two years later, they broke into a bigger audience with Gloomlord, cementing themselves more into the doom/death realm. This year we got Foreverglade, a more refined version of what they’d been working towards, and this hit serious levels of peak performance. Taking their earlier black influence, they inject this into the latest sound while trimming up any sharp edges.
By removing “sharp edges,” I mean the songwriting takes a substantial step forward, which I think the band lacked prior. Mostly, it isn’t overly foreign; you still get your doses of cavernous growls over gut-wrenching doom/death chugs, with the higher pitched howling leads to contrast this swampy execution. But incredibly, the production allows the deeper rhythms to feel more pronounced than before, which makes them standout enough on their own. Now add in the blackened drum tropes and higher, precise screams, and you’ve got a bit of a different animal on the loose.
Should that not be enough, Foreverglade even manages to introduce some symphonic elements, likely also borrowing from their earlier influences. “Cloaked In Nightwinds” is a fucking fantastic tune, injecting this in all of the right places. Considering this track already has some unconventional patterns that fit in perfectly, I see no reason to call this anything but perfect. I mentioned the higher shrieks earlier, and I can’t stress enough how important they are for the layering on this. There is so much life added to areas like the bridge on “Murk Above The Dark Moor,” preceding a solo that’s so damn clear for what this is. Hell, they even manage to get melancholic without stepping out of line on the airy, atmospheric and lead-heavy “Subaqueous Funeral.” Such a clean and quick track!
That’s another thing that just seems so incredible; the clarity. Ninety-nine percent of the time, this type of release gains its strength in being as murky and muddy as humanly possible, but this one manages to not only clean that up, but not overdo it and feel stupidly overproduced. This also allows the moments that lay the blackened elements down to break more surface. “Empire Of The Necromancers” has one of the most furious burns on the whole album. And as I keep saying, the transitions and flows are perfect.
It seems every year there’s one or two doom/death efforts that take this six-tracks, forty-five minutes approach, and the best ones are always the ones that add touches to make themselves stand out. Truly, Worm absolutely nailed that. This is a band that I thought was decent prior, but am now absolutely in love with. Fans of Carcinoid, Spectral Voice, Solothus, and the like need to give this gruesome glory their full focus for full effect.
Worm - Foreverglade was released Oct. 22, 2021 from 20 Buck Spin.Find it here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.