A 10-year wait for the follow-up to a mind-blowing debut LP might be tough to justify for most brutal Death Metal bands, but in the case of Wormed, that seems about right. It’d probably take me a decade just to learn 2010’s Quasineutrality single. It’s not like this Spanish quintet’s jaw-dropping arsenal of unmatched brutality and dizzying technicality can be thrown together overnight. These guys are fucking scientists, musically and lyrically. Case in point, Exodromos is a concept album —no surprise coming from a band that plays concept riffs— serving as the prequel to 2003’s Planisphaerium debut that takes place 5 trillion years in the future. I’m not even going to pretend to grasp the storyline, but it’s something about a quantum wormhole devouring the universe and spitting it out backwards, as told through the eyes of Krighsu, the last known human survivor… you know… the usual Death Metal stuff! (Well, I suppose some DM bands do write about wormholes, but they’re usually talking about some dead whore’s cunt.) But let’s not label them UBDM’s Dream Theater just yet. (Well, maybe we could. I’ve only ever heard one DT cut more than once, and that was “Pull Me Under” — clearly a song about being put in a Dutch Oven.) Above all, Wormed equals guttural heaviness. Frontman Phlegeton takes pig squeals next level, while drummer Riky is a blastbeat cyborg handling with relaxed ease the vertigo-inducing time signatures that the guitar team of Migueloud and J. Oliver fire at him like Michael J. Fox with two Uzis. (Don’t believe me? YouTube some footage of this band live.) However, their attack isn’t strictly limited to multidimensional instrument acrobatics. They also utilize galaxy-sized pit riffs and subtle, eerie melody at will, often within the same track (see “The Nonlocality Trilemma,” “Tautochrone,” “Multivectorial Reionization,” “Techkinox Wormhole,” and epic closer “Xenoverse Discharger”). Wormed’s unconventionality and seemingly inhuman skill level may appear to be an insurmountable quandary for the common headbanger, but trust me when I tell you it’s completely listenable and easy to get lost in. This music is so brutifully intense it’s almost soothing. Of course, it helps to achieve the proper THC/MGD blood ratio beforehand. Only the intrusive spoken-word segue “Solar Neutrinos” —and to a lesser degree, its slam-happy cousin “Darkflow Quadrivium”— prevents Exodromos from total perfection.
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