Nothing Louisiana’s Woorms touch feels the same once they’re through with it on their new full length, Slake. Are they a pounding sludge metal band, or are they more of an experimental noise rock band? Are they angry, or do they even care at all? Who knows — what’s clear is that emerging from their smorgasbord of life experiences and musical inspirations, they’ve got a tantalizing story to tell. Their tale of human devolution permeates the listener’s being as they partake of Slake, with Woorms utilizing carefully placed sonically-boundary pushing experimentation at least as much as if not more than they use any explicit narrative markers.
Nothing feels too out of reach for this band, who include a number of curious — and even disturbing — audio samples throughout their work. The sampled dialogue features a recurring theme of bizarrely overbearing religion that’s all too familiar to more than enough people, and the perspective situates the band in a unique position. While delivering relentless and almost maniacal feeling mountainous riffs at times, those undertakings feel like they’re in the service of some higher power more than they’re simply scooping at the ground for its own sake. That higher power, considering the context, is obviously not the Judeo-Christian concept of “God” — but perhaps instead it’s what’s really behind so much of what goes on in the name of “God.” In this perspective, that true higher power is man’s nonsense. Thus, the listener finds themselves roped into a story they might not have been expecting — and they’re a character!
That kind of sudden persona building permeates essentially the entirety of Slake through its crushing but strangely melodic rock and its more simply musically strange passages. Even apart from the samples, thanks to the repeated jumps into ear-catching experimentation, Slake proves elevated. The whole album kicks off with what ends up sounding like Middle Eastern music of all things, featuring some seemingly religious chanting in the background.
Since ultimately the Slake experience is an album and not a film, the final product of the emerging collection of humanity’s darkest and strangest urges remains up to the listener to give a name to — but that’s part of the beauty of it.
Listen below via Bandcamp. The full record releases January 18 via Hospital Records and Sludgelord Records in the U.K.