It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with WVRM’s Heartache.
I’m not sure how I’ve gone this long without featuring WVRM or To Live a Lie Records. I mean, TLAL has been releasing some of my favorite records for years now. Ever since I heard Xbrainax Hail Fastcore I’ve been listening to their releases. But friend and colleague Michael Pemental’s recent review of Can You Hear the Wind Howl earlier this month slapped me across the face and reminded me that I needed to spotlight these guys. WVRM is one of the most vicious, pissed off bands TLAL has released. And one of the heaviest.
Not content with just blasting, Greenville, SC’s WVRM are a devastating mix of heavy as hell, almost beatdown hardcore, and grindcore. There's even some splashes of death metal here and there. It’s a brooding marriage of depression, suffering and violent outbursts. And Heartache ain’t this band’s first foray into chaos.
“Death Erection” kicks the album off with a blast of feed back before quickly diving into a furious blast. It doesn’t last long though. The track descends into a slow, heavy trudge, sticking with the pace that sounds like the band is stomping as they drag chains behind them. The fast and the heavy are played with a lot on this track before WVRM go out like they’re throwing your head through a window.
The violence factor is really played up on Heartache too. Not just in a lyrical sense, but more in that this record simply sounds violent. If a song isn’t having a blasting meltdown, it’s having a breakdown. Tracks like “Low Life” are fairly straightforward. Hardcore driven, punk as hell, but far from stable. It’s on “Only Suffering” that WVRM give us a little bit of death metal grind, but still stick to the punkier side of things. The last minute of the track is particularly brutalizing.
The last two tracks of Heartache are where the music really gets brooding. “Sleep Paralysis” starts off as fast and pissed as we’ve come to expect, but less than a minute in it descends into a slow, trudging, feedback laden blister of a track. It drones and descends into a doomy Primitive Man-like rage. The final track “As Below” follows in this vein. Still slow, still pissed. Though it picks up the pace a little bit more, it sticks with dark/doom attitude; breakdowns, growls, and writhing in agony. Heartache descends straight into the pit as it slowly stops flailing.
WVRM is awesome. Heavy as hell grindcore that still maintains a punk attitude that never comes off as contrived or cheesy. Lyrically somber and mentally exhausting, Heartache is adequately named. An excellent release for both WVRM and TLAL. This album has a little bit of something for everyone.