Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Wormed - Exodromos Review

Wormed - Exodromos [Technical Death Metal]

Get ready for superior musicianship.

Within the first minute of the opening track 'Nucleon', the music undergoes 10 time signature changes. And not simple ones too. The first album in almost a decade by the Spanish death metallers, Exodromos is fast, dazzlingly technical (which is saying something in 2013), but importantly, atmospheric. The combination of doom and drone atmospherics fill in what little gaps there are between the blastbeats, the are numerous but short guitar solos (if you dig that shit), the drums are fast (though not eschewing the usual over-processed click sound of today), and bass is barely audible, though sufficient, in my opinion.

The vocalist uses pig squeal as his main medium.

While the usual theatrics are done to death, what makes this album outstanding is it's rapid flow. It's far from schizophrenic, it feels like an extreme case of ADHD, and the songs are short and sweet without sacrificing flavour, and in this case, its a cold, bleak atmosphere. Like their peers in Decrepit Birth, Wormed manage to capture the visual aspect of a dystopic, futuristic sound with an adherence to sci-fi melodies, or emulating machines through their guitar solos (very unlike the staccato riffing of Fear Factory). Unlike Decrepit Birth, however, the drummer here chooses from a broader plethora of drum fills, though this is sparse in the song-writing in relation to the blastbeats; the drummer changes his timings with astounding relevance whilst keeping faith to the speed and brutality commanded by the songs. Then again, the time signatures are the constant emphasis here. The guitarists shred to create fills rather than to cement a solo section in the songs, this is done by keeping the highs in the mix relatively buried so that the shredding does not stand out. Also, the solos are well weaved into the riffs, making the song structures tighter and adding to the rapidity of the flow of the album. The production has been absolute and effective here, but I wished more bands used a more organic drum sound.

In terms to negative points on the album, because of the chaotic nature of the music, it's hard to appreciate if you were already accustomed to the guitar theatrics of the genre (thanks to Decrepit Birth). As the album works better as the sum of its parts rather than in its individual songs, it works against the accessibility of the album, though as I said, it has a highly interchangeable sound. Either of which may put of listeners. Also, the bleakness of the album, as opposed to the lively robustness of last year's Cryptopsy, might be a deciding factor as to whether you will dig this album.

All in all, I think this is definitely one of the better albums of the year of disappointing metal releases (so far). It doesn't do anything to change the formula but it works toward perfecting the existing material. With the musicians holding back on their ridiculously technical prowess and concentrating on the concept of the album, this may polarize fans of the death metal genre.


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