Wormreich – Wormcult Revelations (Moribund)

Monday, 14th April 2014
Rating: 8/10

Somewhat of an extension of the now-defunct Blood Stained Dusk, USMB mongers Wormreich grapple with plenty of the core elements that at the present time, define obtuse, atmospheric, and way-dark black metal. It’s practically a direct reaction to how the style became commercialized in the early 00s; bands like Wormreich, or France’s Deathspell Omega, or England’s Abyssal have sought to practically rid the style of such namby-pamby, jolly keyboard elements in lieu of sounds designed to fill up the underworld…wherever that is. Alas, Wormreich’s sophomore Wormcult Revelations is another solid escape to the void.

Flush with those odd chords, strewn about, but with purpose, Wormcult Revelations gradually achieves an ebb and flow of general discomfort, but with shards of dynamics. The long-winded touches of “Revelation II: The Serpents of Chronozon” wrangle extremity and atmospheric dexterity, able to blend the two forums seamlessly without resorting to an unnecessary lull in the song’s proceedings. Perhaps this is what Wormreich do better than most: Create cohesion out of elements that prompt most USBM outfits to go one way or the other: Full extreme, or sustained keyboard bouts that aren’t needed. So, with the burnishes of “Revelation III: Devotion’s Final War” or the well-executed cover of Deathspell Omega’s “Malign Paradigm,” Wormreich achieves its intended goal of obstructing melody, while inviting the listener along for a perilous journey.

As is the norm, bands like Wormreich take some warming up; their ideas are not for the soft, nor should they land well with the commercially-inclined. Yet an album like Wormcult Revelations serves to challenge the modern American black metal paradigm, which as we’ve mentioned throughout these pages, tends to get really lazy, really fast. That’s not happening with Wormreich.

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