On their perfectly devastatingly vicious new album Twitching, as Prey, the Louisiana group Woorms don’t exactly sound happy — but then, again, they never have. Instead, they perform a perfectly roaring and sludgy rocking metal attack, like they’ve dunked their guitars in a swamp before the takes on the record. They perform their ferocious, huge-toned riffs with searing intensity. There’s no shortage of depth here as the band embark into their sonic world where it sounds like shadowy figures wielding machetes lurk in every shadow.
There’s just so much grimly persistent, immersively huge riffing pockmarked by the sickening thuds from drums and vocals shouted in a vicious, rabid frenzy — it’s pretty incredible. From the very first moments, the venomous music itself sounds like it’s absolutely seething with contemptuous rage. That music gets plenty of time to shine in its ghastly, swamp-soaked ferocity — pre-release single “Silence and the Saints” closes with some two and a half minutes of nothing but the band’s grimly lumbering yet strangely catchy jamming. The cacophony feels perfectly immersive, so one might not even notice the absence of vocals.
Elsewhere, at moments like the track “Beauty is a Trick of Light and Sorrow,” the band reveal some of the unsettling audio samples they’ve used to great effect in the past. While the sludgy rock bellows on in the background, a speaker featured on that song proclaims: “This is the kind of stuff that would make God say wipe these people out.” There’s an unsettling sincerity granted to that morbid proclamation thanks to the stomach-churning, chest-beating jamming on that song and throughout the record.
The band ultimately feature a significant amount of variety, even for all their sludgy mayhem. “Unicorn Corn” gets surprisingly catchy, while remaining plenty beastly. The melodies ringing out through the caustic, sharply edged tones hit hard and consistently. Even when the music slows somewhat, like on “Escapegoat,” the band’s dead-eyed drive remains broadcast loud and clear. The head-knocking thuds of the moderately paced, trodding bass lines, for instance, feel like they’re drenched in a deep, dark muck. Every instrument, in a sense, feels a bit like its being used for percussion in this soul-crushing mixture.
As exemplified throughout the crushing close and the album as a whole, Woorms deliver some real ghastly glory with their cratering performances on Twitching, as Prey. It’s a trip down to a hellish swamp, and it’s one helluva ride.
Check out the music below! You can nab it on vinyl from the band and (the aptly named) Sludgelord Records.