REVIEW: WORMED – “Krighsu”
I am not sure how many Technical Death Metal bands prefer to write an epic cosmic concept albums, but in this probably small group of bands Wormed literally destroys the oppositions. Ever since their first album, they have been telling the story of Krighsu the last human in the cosmos. So this story, which already spans two albums, has spilled over to a third one and with ‘Krighsu’ Wormed seem far from finished taking us through mind-boggling and face-melting tale of Krighsu. In many ways Wormed are to tech death what Magma are to progressive rock (without the made up language of course).
The first thing that hits you in this album is the absolute relentlessness with which the music bombards your senses. And I mean this in a very literal sense, there should be a statutory health warning on this album. The barrage of guitars and drums melts your brain. There is so much going on in some parts of this album that you need immense amounts of concentration to figure it out. I also felt a strong industrial base on this album, which is expected when you look at the subject matter of the music that is written.
The music on the album is absolutely brutal, but there is definitely order in the chaos here. If you listen to the music keeping in mind that this is the journey of a cosmic human through the universe, you can see that the music also fits into this concept. Like on the opening track ‘Psuedo-Horizon’, for example, I could visualize a panicked journey and at one point it actually sounded like you were going through a wormhole. There are many instances throughout the album where you get that feeling, I don’t know what ‘Agliptian Codex Cyborgization’ means, but when you listen to the song it kind of puts a visual in your mind.
As I said earlier the theme on this album is one of cosmic battles and destruction, but if you look closer another pattern (whether intentional or not) emerges. The songs on the first half of the album till ‘The Singularitarianism’ follow a pattern of being crammed with instrumentation and squeeze the breath out of you. But beginning with ‘Eukaryotic Hex Swarm’ the production opens up just a little so that you can catch your breath, giving the listener some reverb filled guitar passages where they can relax before being pulled back into the whirlpool of sound. The album ends with ‘Molecular Winds’ which seems like a complete departure from the sound that Wormed established on the rest of the record. I got a strong Gojira vibe from the song and the instrumentation is more spacey and open compared to the other songs.
The production on this album is thick, seriously that is the only way I can describe what I hear. When one guitar chug sounds like it has fifteen layers there is no other way to describe the production. J. Oliver and Migueloud absolutely destroy it on the guitars. The guitar tones are nice and juicy and the reverbs are perfect for the cosmic feel that pervades through the album. Guillemoth on the bass rounds out the bottom end and adds heavily to the layered production. This is one of the few heavy tech death albums where I could hear the bass. G-Calero is a machine, it feels great to hear that ultra fast double bass and those perfectly timed blast beats. But he isn’t all double bass, there are some impressive fills with the cymbals. Phlegeton is as phlegmatic as ever, with his gurgles and squeals I felt like his voice was also an instrument in addition to moving the story forward. Everything isn’t perfect though, because the album is so intense I couldn’t listen to this album back to back; it is best enjoyed in small doses. The album also sounds a tad bit overproduced. I’m pretty sure you cannot replicate the album experience on stage, but if they manage to do that then I would love to see that spectacle.
‘Krighsu’ is the most intense listening experience I have ever had. From the beginning you just strap in and the train doesn’t stop for the next thirty five minutes and the pressure of the claustrophobic production makes sure you cannot escape. This chapter of Krighsu’s story is, both from a conceptual and musical standpoint, leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors. This is already my favourite tech death album this year. Now we just have to wait and see if there is more that Wormed will add to the Krighsu mythology or bring something new to the table. All I can do till then is prepare my body for the eventual human sacrifice it will become when I get to see these guys live.