“The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” – Revelation 8: 10-11
The term Wormwood is actually mentioned several times throughout the Bible yet nowhere is it more profound than as the name of a massive star that causes much misery and stirs up much shit in the Book of Revelation. At the end times Wormwood is there. For Boston’s newest metal beast, which shares the same name as this mighty celestial body, the results are similar. Only this time around it won’t be many people dying because the waters are bitter, it’ll be minds exploding from the bitter sounds being produced as the world caves in upon itself.
Doom metal, almost by definition, has a somewhat negative connotation to it. These are not bands or albums that get thrown into the background of bad romantic comedies. Yet the self-titled debut from Wormwood seems to seethe even more negativity and pessimism than your average doom/sludge record. Every song feels like a swirling vortex of raw emotion, of exposed nerves left when the wolves have torn flesh from bone in the wilds. Vocals are hissed and barked with true vitriol towards mankind in general. Riff after riff churns and churns like a machine devouring up everything in its path, only to regurgitate a volatile wasteland where no life dwells in peace. Meanwhile drums aren’t played, so much as pummeled and beaten into submission. It’s almost nihilistic in its delivery and every bit as exhilarating, almost like watching someone unravel right before your very eyes while set to a soundtrack of nasty, filthy, sludge-infused doom.
The Boston heavy music scene has delivered some absolutely phenomenal acts lo these last 25 or so years and Wormwood has to the potential to adroitly carry that torch into the foreseeable future. Their synthesis of Southern sludge with American doom is a lethal, and yes, bitter combination played to absolutely chilling depths. Wormwood is out October 14 via Magic Bullet Records. You can experience the track “Hollow Black Eyes” at the Wormwood Bandcamp page.