I remember very clearly when Wormed first exploded onto the scene in 2003 with Planisphærium. Here we had a completely unknown band from Madrid which released a devastating album seemingly completely out of the blue.
Then they pretty much disappeared.
They reemerged exactly 10 years later with their follow up, Exodromos. While a solid album, it went under the radar for most people, even though Wormed’s brand of ultra technical brutal death metal was obviously different and unique in a sea of death metal bands regurgitating the same riffs and same slams over and over again. I think by that time, people just had enough of the sub genre as a whole. Thankfully it would only be a mere 3 years for Wormed to strap their guitars back on again. And holy shit. Did they ever strap them on tight.
Krighsu certainly didn’t fly under anyone’s radar. Not this time around. Even people completely fed up with slams sat up and took note. Because with Krighsu, Wormed are not fucking around.
So what makes it so good? There are plenty of factors, though the first that comes to mind would be the overall state of maturity and growth the band has shown over the years. While they were never an immature slam band like for instance, I don’t know, a million other slam bands (Wormed actually has pretty good lyrics, and a solid theme to back them) with this effort it seems like all the stars finally aligned for them. Like they have finally figured out how to incorporate the slam sections with well thought out, tasty riffing. And this album is jam packed with them. Guitarists J. Oliver and Migueloud display and intense and often times extremely abstract form of riffage that is not usual in this genre. Extremely creative guitar playing throughout, and at times, just downright fucking strange. But that’s what makes this so incredible – the amount of creativity that went into these songs is staggering.
The album kicks off with “Pseudo-Horizon” and it’s pretty safe to say that this is one of the best openers for a death metal album – in any sub genre – PERIOD. The guitars give you a first taste of the dissonance, and the drums follow along perfectly, and the whole thing just downright explodes in your face with Earth shattering brutality – so perfect that it’s quite hard to believe the first time you hear it. When the intro is over and the song transitions into the first verse, it’s game over. There’s no way anyone is recovering from that breakdown which is what I imagine what a fucking galaxy were to sound like if it were to explode inside your head. And it all comes at you at once – no warning, no nothing. Bam, it’s just there. Deal with it.
Wormed continue to punish your senses throughout the album with a dizzying variety of guitars, vocals and drums. The musicianship on display here is stunning, each member a master, slicing and grinding through their parts with the precision of surgical steel. The drumming of G-Calero (who tragically died at just age 27) puts in a jaw dropping performance where he utilizes almost every trick in the book. If for nothing else, it’s worth listening to Krigshu because of the intense display of ass kicking G-Calero provides.
The production and sound on the album is exactly as it should be. Yes, the drums are triggered, but they sound great -anything else would just not do for this album. The drums are clear, punchy and sound organic enough that they don’t bother me in the slightest. The guitars have what seems like truckloads of gain on them, but again, they are perfect, and support the overall vibe and mood of the album perfectly. The vocals are simply amazing – you get everything you could ever ask for from a brutal death metal vocalist in Phlegeton, and they are not buried in the mix or too up front, either. They are exactly where they need to be.
Overall, what makes this album special is that the band obviously thought about this one long and hard. They give the listener some breathing space, so it’s just not pure ass kicking for the entire duration of the album. And trust me, this album is so dense, so full of material that it’s amazing that they managed to pack it all into just under 35 minutes. It can be exhausting to listen to, but it’s paced masterfully and beautifully. One might be fooled to think that it all sounds the same, but trust me, there is so much to discover here, and it doesn’t just require, but demands your attention. New things are to be discovered with each and every listen. I honestly don’t think I’ve listened to such a dense death metal album before. What Wormed managed to pull off here is nothing short of amazing, and I can’t wait for the new one.