Thursday, 18 July 2019

REVIEW: Wormed, "Metaportal" EP

By: Eeli Helin

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 19/07/2019
Label: Season of Mist

“Metaportal” CD/DD track listing:

1. Remote Void
2. Cryptoubiquity
3. Bionic Relic
4. E-Xystem://CE

The Review:

It's always an extremely tough spot to lose someone. Every single one of us knows the mental weight and physical toll it takes to pull through it. When it comes to handling such a thing, there are no winners or losers, there is not a right or wrong way to deal with it, granted that some of the natural coping mechanisms written to our code might do more harm than good in the greater scheme of things. Experiencing something first hand is also always harder, and you can't even begin to imagine how someone else treats those feelings. Transferring these instances to the world of music, it's always untold what'll happen if a band loses one of it's members. It can go multiple ways, and we as an audience have to respect that decision.

This scenario sadly came to reality with the Spanish sci-fi tech death group Wormed last year, when they lost their drummer G-Calero, whose outstanding performance can be heard on their latest full-length, 2016's "Krighsu". Soon after the news broke, Wormed announced that they will continue their trek to the unimaginably immense, unexplored depths of the cosmos, hence giving their listeners a moment of relief with a promise of new music. Approximately a year from that, they announced their new EP titled "Metaportal" will be released on July 19th, through Season of Mist.

"Metaportal" continues the previous albums lead character Krighsu's (who is the very last posthuman being in a robotised galaxy, mind you) voyage to the vast void. Krighsu must ingress a colossal metaportal of unknown origin, in order to help a galactic system endangered by an abysmal nano-technological war meant to wipe out the last human-derivative being. However desperate and hopeless that might sound, "Metaportal" offers some unexpectedly warm yet inconsolable tones Wormed hasn’t probed before, at least not to this extent. My first impression was that the aforementioned loss might be the direct causation to this. The robotic drones and mechanic hums have been introduced on the previous albums, but this time around they are even more elaborate and emotionally infused. That being said, these refined, fresh aspects don't create a blanding effect, but rather give Wormed's output much needed contrast. The mix is also perhaps more organic than before; Take that as you will, it might sound a bit like a heresy all things considered. The atmosphere is still tightened to extreme proportions at all times, so you will enjoy the tone of this release if you've enjoyed the previous ones.

The EP opens in a signature manner with "Remote Void"; Short intro followed by complete chaos underlaid with gravity blasts and topped with Phlegeton's sewer creature-ish vocals. Habitually, rapid tempo and time signature changes are constantly present, leaving absolutely no room for easement at any point. This is also a trademark motion of Wormed, and considering that alone, the EP format is very fitting and easier to digest by those with less-hardened ears. While the actual song fires with all cylinders throughout, the fresh ambiance pieces make their debut in the end, acting as a bridge to the second track "Cryptoubiquity". This pattern occurs through the whole releases, tying the individual songs together, strengthening the cohesive atmosphere in a similar manner they do on their full-lengths.

The third track "Bionic Relic" showcase the band stretching themselves further than you could've ever imagined. The complexity is taken to a whole new level, leaving the listener baffled, wondering how it is humanely possible to perform music like this. Even after taking into account their absurd past work, you'll hear a band continuously pushing itself to become greater, and that is perhaps the most beautiful aspect to Wormed overall. They already master their craft, there is not a single other band sounding like this, but instead of beaming those familiar and safe grounds, they refine and improve themselves. The finest examples of this progression might be the groovy parts in "Cryptoubiquity" that'll make your legs twitch uncontrollably even harder than before and the slamming parts, long blast beat sections crusted with melodies and just the general oddity and excitement caused by it during "Bionic Relic".

The closing track "E-Xystem://CE" throws some really unexpected curveballs at your way before going back to more customary pace, mostly in terms of the piano intro, followed by a calm and lanquid, emotive palm mutes vs open chords section and a somewhat new(!) vocal style. This track highlights some previously unexamined colours through catchy rhythms and eerie melodies that'll get stuck in your head permanently. As a weird little fact, towards the end I had to take off my headphones because I thought something was breaking. I was correct in a way, but instead of failing technology, what was broken was my spirit and well-being. Still, in a rather positive way. Since this is a mini-release, you won't get to exhausted or worn out as you could with a full-length, which adds to the tolerable and pleasant side of things. However, Wormed has all the tools to transplant these tones to their albums, so "Metaportal" could lead to some inconceivable, seriously mindboggling results.

What's for sure, is that if you didn't like them before, you won't like them now, that's just how it is. A lot of intricacies will get lost if you're not familiar with their older efforts. Wormed is also that kind of band who has it's time and place, and it's by no means fitting to all occasions. Another thing that it certain is, that you will love "Metaportal" if you liked what you heard on "Exodromos" and "Krighsu". You also have to appreciate the time and detail put into the lyrics, narrating a developing and branching story that doesn't pale in comparison to those sci-fi films that fly so far over your head. Without descending into any more tautologies, you could educate yourself by reading these lyrics even if you didn't enjoy the music at all, and that speaks about their value quite a lot. I know I am interested in where the metaportal came from and what Krighsu will discover after taking the leap and can't even begin to explain the excitement I'm having for the follow-up.

“Metaportal” is available HERE

Band info: facebook || bandcamp