Duncan Bentley – Vocals
Sanil Kumar – Guitars
Sanjay Kumar – Guitars
Matt Tillett – Drums
1. The Weakest Among Us
4. Wave Quake Generator Plasma Artillery Cannon
5. The Gas System
7. Quad MB
Wormholes – They look absolutely bonkers. Watching various depictions on television, in movies and sci-fi stories, I’m left feeling breathless. All that rushing across multiple dimensions at incomprehensible speeds. The lightning, the noise, the uncertainty of one’s destination and inevitable hostility of the locals when you arrive. It’s no wonder such a rapid tumble through an intergalactic vortex is often accompanied by a panicked, terrified scream from those being swept through space-time like a rag doll in a hurricane.
With that in mind, it is completely fitting that Maryland’s Wormhole are able to incorporate all of the above and everything else you might associate with being forcibly swallowed by the universe into just 28 minutes of chaotic and uncompromising music.
The Weakest Among Us is the sound of Wormhole living up to an aural manifestation of their band name. Taking a similar approach to their 2016 debut (Genesis); the band’s sound is defined by a maelstrom of churning, death metal riffs, significantly propelled by Matt Tillet‘s urgent and technically impressive drumming. His shifting rhythms drill and pitch into frequent rattling blasts, maintaining an undulating momentum that is matched for intensity by a barrage of rubbery, melodic bass lines. These sub-frequencies threaten to pull away from the low end at any moment, occasionally climbing into higher registers before being dragged back into place. Forceful and erratic, the rhythm section generates enough gravitational pull to ensure the guitars are also drawn tightly inwards; crunching and grinding along with the album’s volatile arrangements. Overall, the production is darker than their previous output, but it has a more organic delivery and feels all the more barbaric for it.
Among this teeming whitewater, the band’s vocalist, Duncan Bentley adds to the turmoil via a series of undecipherable, heaved syllables. Fans of slam death will recognise his inhuman wheeking as typical of the extreme brutality of the genre. Those of you who generally wince at the guttural delivery of extreme metal vocals will have an even harder time here. Bentley completely eschews clarity and diction in favour of his most exaggerated bestial tones. His words are reduced to primal throat sounds that will either have you grinning with disgusted delight or reaching for the relative safety of your Deicide records.
If that all sounds good and heavy, you might be surprised to learn there are some occasional lighter touches. Often subtle, such as the groovy cadence of The Gas System, but sometimes more prominent and overt, like when the guitars pull away into some uplifting, melodic lines and solos. It’s an impressive touch that proves the musicians are motivated by more than just gargled, driving aggression. There is a musicality running through this release that offers longevity and deserves repeated appreciation.
Not for the faint hearted, but recommended nonetheless. Add a point if you already have albums by Abominable Putridity, Necrophagist, Defeated Sanity and Artificial Brain in your collection.