Gloomy maulers Worm conjure strange, dream-like devastation on brain-numbing ‘Bluenothing’

I have embraced a practice where after my workday is done and the hours are winding down, I dabble in some legal substances to help soothe my mind and get me an extra boost leading into the next day for dealing with my anxiety. Each night, I try to pair that with some music, and it’s been a really interesting experimentation in finding out what works in that frame of mind and what doesn’t.

One absolutely perfect collection for when my mind is stretching out and relaxing is “Bluenothing,” the new mini album from Florida doom/death/black metal lurkers Worm, whose “Foreverglade” was one of the main revelations from 2021. Speaking of that album, half of what you hear here was born in the sessions for that record, while the other half demonstrates a new beast, and all of which is completely mind melting and ultimately stimulating. Long helmed by Phantom Slaughter (vocals, guitar, bass, synth), the band was boosted by the addition of guitarist Wroth Septentrion (Atramentus, VoidCeremony, Chthe-ilist, live member of Hulder), whose work takes these songs into a foggy stratosphere not previously explored by this mind-altering band. There is extra help from Nihilistic Manifesto (guitars on “Shadowside Kingdom”); Necreon (Cauterized, Funebrarum) who plays bass on “Shadowside Kingdom”; L. Dusk (drums on “Bluenothing”) and “Centuries of Ooze II”; and Charlie Koryn (Vrenth, VoidCeremony, etc.) who plays drums on “Shadowside Kingdom.” It’s a true team effort, and it’ll liquify your mind and pour it like a syrup over the ground.

The 11:33-long title track opens things, and is it ever a steamy, fiery adventure that heats up right away and oozes gothic power. Growls swell as the murk spreads, the guitars slurring and filling your mind with cosmic wonder, muddy mashing following that and making things uglier. A somber haze reaches great distances as calmer waters wash over the scorched shores, and then the pace shifts and gets edgier. Shrieks batter as the fog gets harder to traverse, guitars laser through the weather front, and that spirit swarms until it drains into the ground. “Centuries of Ooze II” is the second installment of a series that began on “Foreverglade,” and it starts amid stirring organs as the bottom drops, and doom power clutches its victim. Solemn calls work their way through the night, guitars glow and spill, and shrieks and growls penetrate the psyche, lurching and creeping. Guitars flow like lava, soaring into chilling singing that creates a massive pall from which you can’t escape. “Invoking the Dragonmoon” simmers in chilling keys and a dream state that takes hold and impacts your mind. Guitars warm and sprawl, fires crackle, and everything flows into closer “Shadowside Kingdom” that arrives in winds and acoustic guitars haunting. Clean calls echo as the playing gets more immersive, and then fiery hell explodes, shocking your system and defacing planets, the intensity spreading. Gothy clouds gather and mar vision, and a final burst tears you apart and rips the breath from your lungs.

“Bluenothing” is anything but a stop-gap release or something that doesn’t deserve as much time and attention as a proper full-length. Worm always had a strange aura to them that make your insides feel off, and they amplify that even greater on this release, especially when you fully digest the details that separate this from “Foreverglade.” Worm finally have the attention of more people and deservedly so, and this feels like their effort to further get their hooks in you and transport you to their world.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.instagram.com/wormgloom/

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/worm

For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/

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