Wormed’s new full-length Krighsu was recently described to me on Twitter as “the soundtrack to a nanobot oligarchy colonizing our collective subconscious,” and “the sound of every computer performing an illegal operation at the same time,” so that’s it. That’s all you need to know. Review done. Seriously, just go listen to it. Why are you still here?
Wormed formed in 1998 and picked up their sci-fi tech death aesthetic several months later when vocalist Phlegeton (J.L. Rey) joined the band. Based out of Madrid, Spain, Wormed are one of the few tech-death acts that do more than simply vomit riffs and high speed drumming onto a soundboard and then release it as an album. Skill, talent, heart, and a story to tell make Wormed one of the most beloved bands in metal. I don’t care if Manny hates them. He’s wrong. What sets this band apart is not only the precision with which they play, but the memorable riffs they write.
Phlegeton describes their albums as “a sci-fi movie interpreted in a musical context.” Krighsu builds on the story that their previous albums Planisphærium and Exodromos started, telling the tale of a character named Krighsu, the last human in the galaxy. Krighsu is searching a universe ruled by artificial intelligence for a suitable planet on which to reboot the human race. Wormed began with the end with Planisphærium, gave us more backstory with Exodromos, and on Krighsu they complete the trilogy of this epic.
The band not only dives into the extremes of space physics, they also defy what you thought was sonically possible. The song titles play into the sci-fi theme with names like “Agliptian Codex Cyborgization” and “Eukaryotic Hex Swarm.” The breathtaking guitar licks on “Zeroth-Energy Graviton” and “The Singularitarianism” make you wonder if guitarists Migueloud (Miguel Ángel) and J.Oliver (Javier Ameztoi) have alien DNA that somehow allowed them to grow extra appendages. Drummer G-Calero (Guillermo Calero) has certainly been imbued with superhuman strength to be able to blast his way through 34 minutes of this auditory carnage. Phlegeton’s guttural vocals pile on top of this twisted cacophony, mixing perfectly with the noodling bass lines. Every track builds on the last, leaving you gasping for air by the time “Molecular Winds” winds to a close.
Every listen to Krighsu reveals another layer of sound. Intricate guitars, pummeling bass, insane drums, and extraterrestrial electronics tier on one another to create truly masterful music. Over the 13 years since Planisphærium, and through countless lineup changes, Wormed continues to crank out some of the tightest, most technical death metal imaginable. It’s rare to find tech death that is intensely crushing while remaining fun and interesting. The only question is, where does Wormed go from here?
— Jeremiah Nelson