Friday, July 12, 2013

Wormed - Exodromos

I've been meaning to complete all these half-finished reviews I've had sitting around since...forever. The problem is I never get around to it, and then I get sidetracked with life's many nuisances. Having a smidgen of free time over the next few days should allow me to finish a few of these drafts and hopefully cover newer material as well.

But we'll see.

Wormed's Planisphærium remains a powerhouse of brutal slam; its technicality nearly unmatched and its uniqueness equally as elusive in the subgenre. The production value of Planisphærium was apt for the style. The scooped mids and loose, loud snare tone all contributed to making the album memorable, even if it was the brilliantly executed guitarwork that really delivered the 'technical cyber space slam' vibe that Wormed became known for. Exodromos' mix differs in that the mids aren't scooped, and the low-end is completely brought up. The bass range is limited to higher frequencies and there's really not much variation on the bottom end. It's a disappointing release on that front, and as soon as I got over that I was able to enjoy the album for what it was, kind of.

Still not as good as Planisphærium.

Pulsating and occasionally brilliant riffs radiate from Exodromos' sub-supermassive core. Wormed like to play with their listeners; they shift and blur riffs as to make predicting their next move impossible. Highlight track "Tautochrone" is a good example of this. About a minute in and the heavier, chugging riff shifts into a blastbeat segment before the main melody of the track breaks through right into another thick, chunky riff. I can appreciate the songwriting decision, and it makes the more direct tracks stand out like pulsars amidst the cosmic void. "Stellar Depopulation" is one of the more straightforward tracks and features a short-lived slam that decays into stop-start blasting and a chromatic melody that eventually evolves into something more beautiful.

Much of the previous standout riffing comes together during the album closer "Xenoverse Discharger." This track brings the best elements that you heard earlier into a singular(ity) fold. It makes for an atmospheric end, and is easily one of the best tracks on Exodromos. Speaking of atmosphere, the random spoken word ambient tracks are boring as all hell. "Solar Neutrinos" totally kills the momentum of the album for me.

Maybe I miss the standout slams of Planisphærium a bit too much or maybe it's just the production, but either way I find Exodromos to be a second-tier release. It's certainly not bad by any means, but after listening to "Xenoverse Discharger" you realize that the majority of the albums' best moments can be summed up in just six minutes.

7.75 out of 10

1. Nucleon
2. The Nonlocality Trilemma
3. Tautochrone
4. Solar Neutrinos
5. Multivectorial Reionization
6. Spacetime Ekleipsis Vorticity
7. Darkflow Quadrivium
8. Stellar Depopulation
9. Techkinox Wormhole
10. Xenoverse Discharger