Being an English teacher, Dan “Lord Worm” Greening knows the power of words to make a deliberate point, paint a picture and/or act as a portal to somewhere otherworldly. OK, the Rage Nucléaire frontman teaches ESL, but it’s not like people learning English use different words than us native speakers. Even if his brutal poetry is sometimes garbled because of a few creepy crawly bits lodged between his teeth or because of death metal’s inherent incomprehensible growl, gurgle and gasp during a kick-ass blast section, in the world of the Worm, words are power. The trouble comes in having the sonic violence live up to what he puts on paper.
This Montréal-based quartet certainly threw down the gauntlet in titling their debut Unrelenting Fucking Hatred. Thankfully, their flensing-knife-scraping-across-black-metal's-open-wound lived up to the labelling. Two years later, they’ve returned with a title that, while possessing similar strains of harsh anger, doesn’t quite have the same unkempt rawness and bald impact as its predecessor. Fittingly enough, neither does the music live up to the same ferocity showcased on the debut.
That’s not to say Black Storm of Violence isn’t a fiery musket-blast of mayhem; it’s more that there are avenues unrelated to hot-iron-pressed-against-soft-milky-flesh atonality and chromatic discord explored and embarked upon on album number two and not all of it sounds natural and smooth. Melody, swinging looseness and the incorporation of variety are exhibited and expounded upon during the wobbly bass work and ascending/descending single-note runs of “Ritual Murder (And its Attendant Blessings).” “Le grand mal de vivre” is the sort of high-foreheaded, aristocratic black metal riffing bands like Dimmu and Cradle often drown out and neuter with excessive synthesizers. Rage Nucléaire don’t do this, but the question “does this sound like Rush meets Drudkh?” might get tossed around more than once. The album's back end leans more towards more straight-ahead black metal, but misses a step in the irascibility department creating an overall loss of steam by the end of the its eight tracks. One step forward, two steps back, as they say.