WORMED - Worming Their Narrative Through The Cosmos
March 30, 2016, 2 years ago
Reaching out, Krighsu grasped at the gaseous hues that enveloped his being - a stark-yet-delicate contrast against the vacuous, blackened depths that stretched out before him. Stirred by his fingertips, the embers of death twisted and vexed a swirling, chaotic dance; the miasma of a mechanical putrescence stinging at his nostrils, an all too familiar reminder of his many triumphs... and tragedies. Inhuman flesh he had burned, synthetic bone he had vaporized, trillions of swarms left to decay - their mangled, mechanical corpses littering ashen, deserted landscapes across vast expanses. He turned, looking back, envisioning the carnage that had nearly swept the galaxy clean of all living things. He felt nothing. How could he? This was his calling, just as the stars that stretched out before him had always called. As the last living Chrym, this is all he, and his kind before him, had known. At that moment he felt very alone, a feeling foreign to his calculated, anthropomorphic sensibilities. Disgusted, he gathered his thoughts, and settled upon a paradoxical clash of ego and impotence. With confidence slightly restored, a devious child-like smile crept across his face, a bemused response to the perverseness of these all too human emotions - the very same emotions that had nearly ended mortal kind. He was now a lone hunter, a warrior, drifting through the cosmos with the last vestiges of the human/Terrax seed. Through oceans of emptiness he had come, seeking an understanding. Through it all, he was constantly conflicted by the universal strings of consciousness embedded deep within his cortex - a continual loop that fed him images of earthly confines; the recurring vision of naked trees in a forest befell by winter, the flitter of grass in a windswept meadow, the moon and tides entwined in a perpetual lovers dance. Lurking within he felt a surge of contempt welling at the narcissism of mankind - a kind he was now tasked with preserving. With the macrocosm as his stage, he had become the Cerberus of the stars... a remorseless, roaring derelict in a fathomless void.
The above was a quick creative writing attempt I made at painting a narrative picture of the fantastical world of Krighsu - the last post-human in a galaxy ravaged by a virus gone wrong. Krighsu, a protagonist in a robot-dominated cosmos, is the creation of Wormed - the sci-fi themed, technical death metal band from Madrid, Spain. What is most interesting about Wormed - besides the incredible musicianship on display - is the focus on aesthetics and the weaving of provocative narrative threads throughout their music, which elevates the music into depths never before explored by other bands within their chosen sub-genre - a genus inherently mired in gore. I ask both the vocalist and guitarist (Phlegeton and Migueloud, respectively) their thoughts on the importance of the visual/narrative aspect of Wormed vs. the meat and potatoes that is the music? Without it, does Wormed become just another slam band in an over-populated sub-genre of death metal?
"Maybe, but we did this from the beginning of the band. So, taking care about the image and aesthetics is essential for us," answers Phlegeton. "Often, many bands don't take into account the importance of image. Our kind of sci-fi artwork fits with the complex concepts and music; however, in this sub-genre of metal, it is quite difficult keeping the listener aware of the lyrics. Mostly, the common listener keeps their ear on the global effect that both the music and vocals create, but they don't know what they are missing. Reading our lyrics while the album is playing is much more exciting than hearing just the music, because you can imagine a lot of abstract and technological sci-fi scenes from beyond known space, almost like a cinematic experience. Try it out."
Those in the know are likely quite aware that Wormed - through three full-length albums has position themselves as the cream of the crop - the crème de la crème - of slam, perhaps even overtaking the mighty Devourment. In a genre permeated by 97% garbage, I was curious to know how the guys approached the writing process within their sub-genre, while at the same time managing to elevate themselves light years above most of their peers. What is the Wormed secret to success?
"Well, first of all we don’t consider ourselves a slam band at all," corrects Migueloud. "We like bands like the aforementioned Devourment, and some others, but our music has never been focused on that sound although, we have some slam-my parts. Maybe it’s not a secret but something logical: a lot of hard work since the band started! Every band working without a break would be successful for sure."
To these ears, it sounds like Wormed have found that magical balance between brutality and technicality - without ever coming across as being technical for the sake of technicality. What is Wormed's place within the current trend toward tech-death?
"We love both brutality and technicality in extreme music, and we always try to include them in our songs but without ever missing the feeling," instructs Migueloud. "There are lots of amazing tech death metal bands with great and virtuous musicians, but sometimes they forget to make their music with feeling, sounding cold or soulless because of the use of typical scale riffs and patterns just based on speed or slam. Music has to transport the listener to the place that music suggests themselves while listening to it and that’s something that we take seriously when composing our songs."
Even if not the intention, I have talked to many metal-loving sci-fi fans who are craving more of Wormed's Xenomorph-like narrative. Now that the trilogy of Krighsu, the last man in space, is complete, has the band given thought to branching the story into other forms of media (visual, novel, short story, etc.)?
"Definitely, I have that idea since years, and currently I'm working on it," reveals Phlegeton. "I always thought that the concept of this story deserves greater expansion to other medias. But for the moment, I can't give you any more details on this."
From a purely musical perspective, with the trilogy complete, where does Wormed go from here? Also, with the story of Krighsu complete, what can fans expect next as it relates to lyrical/conceptual content?
"As Krighsu has just been released we still haven’t discussed or thought about future works," answers Migueloud. "Regarding the music, we will keep composing new stuff in the same way we have done until now: fast, twisted and brutal. That’s Wormed and that’s how it will be!"
"This is just a conceptual story narrated in 3 chapters/albums. So, Krighsu, as the character, could appear again in new releases, because his main mission remains unfinished. He carries the human/terrax seed through the vast cosmos. So, this is a perfect setting for otherworldly adventures and new stories for our upcoming albums."