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Worm - Evocation of the Black Marsh

Evocation of the Black Marsh
by Clarissa “Wulf” Wright at 09 October 2017, 7:49 AM

Arising from the swamps of Florida, USA, WORM was formed by one man named Fantomslaughter. Previously, he produced two rare demos - “The Deep Dark Earth Underlines All (2014)” and “Nights in Hell (2016)”. In the recent release “Evocation of the Black Marsh” this elusive face collaborates with another known as Equimanthorn. Together, they present eight tracks, said to be “hymns to the spiritual swamp lurking in every listener”. You can expect to hear influences from GOATLORD and MORTUARY DRAPE, and the occult bands of early black metal. As the aesthetic of the swamp is a key theme here, I wondered how this duo could recreate the slime of the swamp through their sound. Turning on the first track, I was about to find out.

“Altar of Black Sludge” begins with a putrid soundscape of distorted guitars and grim vocals. A touch of keys leads a discorded melody, in this short and odd intro. Leading into the second track “Winged Beast of the Phantom Crypt”, blackened riffs and rhythms are reminiscent of early, raw black metal. To me, the song seems to end abruptly and unexpectedly (though this could be on purpose). “Gravemouth” begins with a slow start, led by a moody distorted bass. The pace here really drew me in, as the harsh vocals woefully, and steadily gasp along with the rhythm of the guitars. Speed changes as the song progresses, varied here and there with ‘loose’ tom-drum fills.  A hopeless ether takes over “Evil in the Mire”, as an uneasy riff is repeated by the guitars. The drummer uses blast beats, tom patterns, and ride cymbal hits that add to the build-up of the song. Exasperating vocals create a sense of crookedness, along with the bass-ridden guitars that sound so punchy and deep, they practically ooze slime into the ears.

Sounds get even more distorted and harsh in the fifth track, named “Evocation of the Black Swamp”. Compared to the slow pace of the previous songs, this track speeds things up; except when we are interrupted with a quietened interlude, with out-of-tune sounding, ‘tin-y’ guitar riffs. The final track, “The Slime Weeps” is short but effective, with the instruments sounding clear (compared to the previous tracks), yet mesmerizingly ‘doomy’ from the throbbing bass lines. This sludgy performance rounds of the release and leaves the listener sinking in mud.

In the “Evocation of the Black Marsh” the duo create the dank atmosphere of a hopeless swamp, that only seeks to consume your being whole and degrade it to sludge. A melding of slow paced doom and raw black metal themes form a dreariness, and even ‘sludginess’ throughout. Production is not high quality, though this is hard to judge, since the music has been recorded in the dusty, raw black metal style on purpose. This release certainly resurrects the early days of black metal. Although this “true to the roots” style is not my particular cup of blackened tea, I do like the slimey feel that adds to its originality, and the decaying atmosphere that comes with it.

Memorability: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 5
Songwriting: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Altar of Black Sludge
2. Winged Beast of the Phantom Crypt
3. Gravemouth
4. Evil in the Mire
5. Evocation of the Black Marsh
6. Swamp Ghoul
7. Rotting Semblance
8. The Slime Weeps
Fantomslaughter – All Instruments
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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