By David Perri
Life is never boring, it seems. One day you might be lost in thought, pondering vague and vaguely interesting situations when, out of nowhere, you run into one of Canada’s pre-eminent death metal sergeants. Such was the case with ex-CRYPTOPSY vocalist LORD WORM, as a chance encounter in downtown Montreal led to discussion of his current metallic pathways and fascination streets. Lord Worm is renowned in extreme metal circles, not only for his contribution to such classics as Blasphemy Made Flesh and the borderline perfection that is None So Vile, but also due to the eclectic nature of the avantgarde metal he chooses to surround himself with. Now involved in a new project called RAGE NUCLÉAIRE with an upcoming record entitled Unrelenting Fucking Hatred, Lord Worm is newly setting fire to sleeping giants with results that will, undoubtedly, prove to be effective and affecting.
“Rage Nucléaire is a hate-filled blend of melodic black metal and violent industrial,” Lord Worm begins. “It’s a three-piece and its other component parts are Alvater on guitar, synth, drum programming, and background vocals, and Dark Rage on guitar, background vocals, and secret things even I’m not privy to. A full-length CD, Unrelenting Fucking Hatred, is currently in the works. The three of us seem to share the same bleak world vision, for one thing, and this shows up very clearly in the compositions. Alvater used to be in the godly FROZEN SHADOWS, and I know he hasn’t spent nearly a fraction of his accumulated rage. Dark Rage and I don’t do a lot of cretinous smiling, either. Also, I remember a talk with (ex-Cryptopsy guitairist) Steve Thibault about ten years ago, in which he said something about having one more album left in him. As it turns out, he didn’t, but I’ve often thought about that, and I figure I might have one or two left to expiate. As the millennium progresses, so does the aural assault perpetrated by really nasty practitioners of the Black Art; good. I just want to add my voice to the global chorus of discomfiture. And so, I will.”
Far from being a one-off project, Rage Nucléaire seems to be a violent force with a future.
“I’m still into doing live stuff but we’ll have to see about that,” Lorm Worm explains. “There is also some material being written for a second release, and we’ll probably have to put up a Facebook page, too, at some point. Other than that, I’m just looking forward to being dead, but then, aren’t we all.”
While he’s alive, Lord Worm consumes and experiences raging, yet abstract, bands that act as monuments to hatred, and his wide-ranging and eclectic tastes have become renowned in metal circles.
“Just about everything that comes out of Quebec, especially on the Sepulchral Productions label, is worthy,” he says. “Look for GRIS (author’s note: Gris’ 2007 album, Il Etait Une Foret, is one of Canada’s greatest metal albums of the ‘00s), SOMBRES FORETS, MONARQUE, FORTERESSE, UTLAGR and BORGNE, from Sweden, but on Sepulchral. Also, DARKSPACE, along with side project PAYSAGE D’HIVER, from Switzerland, will hurt you. Besides which, there’s always good old-fashioned grindcore to fall back on as well as ‘80s metal of every sort, but especially the wondrous SODOM and HELLHAMMER, both of whom will forever rule.”
Having witnessed the ‘80s scene at Montreal’s infamous Foufounes Electriques in person, Lord Worm can also attest how the metal environs has changed since metal’s first golden age.
“Trends and styles come and go. Metalheads, if they’re true, don’t. I periodically run into members of VOIVOD, OBLIVEON, GORGUTS, KATAKLYSM as well as people from some lesser known bands, and whether or not they’re musically active, they themselves haven’t really changed. I assume it’s basically the same thing everywhere else, with the old guard being ever-present. I guess the real change has come from two quarters: the sheer number of metalheads out there, and the whole bodily modification thing, which was never anywhere near as prevalent as it is today, especially in the ‘80s, when I used to go to shows, rather than perform in them.”
Lord Worm was also involved in one of death metal’s greatest testaments, Cryptopsy’s None So Vile. As the album marks its 15th anniversary in 2011, Lord Worm looks back and describes the record’s creation and execution.
“I remember,” he begins, “back before the whole success thing happened, that the whole raison d’être of the band was to be as extreme or, as we used to term it at the time, yucky as possible. That meant fast, hard and filthy. I’ve no clear recollection of the lyrical writing process, but I do recall that ‘Orgiastic Disembowelment’ was a bitch to put together; at the time, Jon Levasseur’s complex style was tough for me to grab ahold of. Fitting lyrics to his stuff was a headache.
I have a hard time remembering doing the vocals in studio, although I get this mental image of Flo (Mounier, Cryptopsy drummer) and Jon standing on either side of engineer Pierre Rémillard, the three of them looking in through the recording booth window at me, and it felt like I was in some large aquarium. I wanted to get the shit out of there, so I did the entire album in one take, no frills, no bullshit. That’s a true story. Then I went into the kitchenette and polished off a bottle of Glenlivet. I remember it took awhile for Eric (Langlois, ex-Cryptopsy bassist) to get a take like he wanted it, for his piano intro to ‘Phobophile’. We were all pretty tired, at that point. So was Pierre, who felt that the best way to motivate us was to mime descending a circular staircase. You know how, when you’re really tired, stupidity seems even funnier? It was like that.
Days later, the bunch of us went out drinking with Denis Côté, and we were six in a four-seater, and Denis had the rough mix playing in the car, and we all thought: ‘Cool!’ Other than that, I don’t remember shit about those days. Scotch will do that to you. I buggered off a few months after that, I think, so it never occurred to me that the album would ever become something big. It was a bit of a surprise, then, in 2003, when I rejoined, and Miguel Roy (ex-Cryptopsy guitarist) told me that None So Vile had somehow raised the bar. Here it is, 2011, and to be honest, I’m still not used to it. Go fucking figure.”