Review 1886 : Wormhole – Almost Human – English

Wormhole gets back in the saddle.

Formed in 2015 between the USA, South Africa and Scotland, the band’s line-up would change over time, only having American members. In 2023, Sanjay Kumar (guitar/bass, Equipoise, Greylotus, Inferi), Sanil Kumar (guitar, live for Cognitive), Matt Tillett (drums, Greylotus), Basil Chiasson (bass, Radamanthys) and Julian Kersey (vocals, ex-Aegaeon, ex-Rose Funeral) signed to Season of Mist for the release of their third album, Almost Human.

System Erase begins with a very Progressive approach, before letting their Slam Death roots express themselves in massive, jerky riffs. The beastly howls are not to be outdone, covering the whole aggressive mix with a good dose of brutality, while certain passages offer more soaring elements, as on Elysiism, which lets the guitars offer a few dissonant harmonics. The moshparts remain extremely effective, but the track suddenly changes pace and lets the musicians place melodious leads and a worked solo, then Spine Shatter High-Velocity Impact returns to raw brutality with devastating riffs coupled with crushing, regular groovy patterns. A vocal sample also develops some intriguing tones, before Data Fortress Orbital Stationary follows suit, anchoring itself in pure violence too, especially with overpowering breaks. The band continues to explore its explosive Slam roots with Delta Labs, a composition that deftly places a few spikes of technicality between two jerky riffs, letting Almost Human, the eponymous track, integrate more of these complex elements while letting drums flood us with blast and double kick. The band goes on to borrow from Grindcore with Bleeding Teeth Fungus, a track with a frantic abrasive rhythm which places a few different vocal parts, then The Grand Oscillation envelops us in ominous dissonance before dropping the aggressive parts to end the album with a perfect balance between all its influences.

Wormhole didn’t want to choose between brutality and complexity, skilfully integrating both aspects into its uncompromising Death Metal, which also lets Almost Human explore mysterious dissonant parts.


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