Originally written by Chris Redar
2013’s Exodromos became somewhat of an obsession of mine some months after its release. Sure, It made my top ten that year, but that particular calendar stretch also saw career defining/reviving/ending releases from the likes of Beaten to Death, Gorguts, and Altar of Plagues. It wasn’t until much, much later upon a chance revisit that the genius of Wormed’s spacetime operatics started to surface. Exodromos is an insanely deep and incredibly well plotted album that I’ve probably listened to no less than a couple hundred times by now– not something I can say about the rest of my list from that year. No way in HELL is the follow-up going to meet expectations.
But, what if…
Wormed’s Krighsu is a masterpiece, and quite possibly the best tech-death album ever recorded. That’s the direction this review is headed, if you want to check out now. Because, trust me– it’s not going to get less glowing from here. In the same fashion as Exodromos, Krighsu weaves a story musically that demands the entire affair be listened to as a singular thirty-four minute experience, and yet every single track (sans the robot-talk interlude “578893308161”) is a standalone banger.
What makes this album any different from the countless oceans of over-produced BruTech ™ drech, you ask? Vision, motherfucker, that’s what. Wormed does this awesome thing where certain riffs in certain spots recall past or present riffs, which makes their songs relate to all of their other songs in some fashion. If a band like Tool or Radiohead does that, They get the cover of Rolling Stone. Why not Wormed, I ask? I already imagine Madrid shuts down at least once a day to have a parade for these guys, complete with a kid throwing a bottle of Coke at vocalist Phlegeton and him coming down off of his float to give him his Wormed jersey.
And these drums?? I guess historically I should absolutely hate this sound. It’s very triggered and very far ahead in the mix, but considering the futuristic/sci-fi nature of the lyrics and the band’s theme as a whole, it’s fitting moreso here than it’s ever been. And I’d be lying if I said the parts where the double bass sounding like a chaingun going off from the deck of an attack helicopter didn’t get ya boy hype as FUCK on his commute.
The other thing, percussively speaking, is how not out of place so much of this would be on a jazz album. The stuttering time changes, the closed hi-hat blasting, the cymbal rolls– drummer G-Calero has a finesse about his style that isn’t limited to the usual rigidity of the style.
I’ve listened to Krighsu no less than thirty times as of this writing, and I’ve been actively searching for complaints and weak spots, being a shitbag critic and all. The problem is, every time I fire it up, I hear something I missed– an underlying riff here, a slight sound effect there – that makes the album better than the last spin. So, in that regard, it’s exactly like its predecessor, which might be my only gripe. Wormed is too good of a band to exist, and it’s going to make it impossible to take any other death metal seriously any time soon. Maybe even any other music.
Oh, I guess if you don’t like guttural vocals you’ll hate this. But that’s your problem, not mine.