If you can picture yourself sitting in the darkest space imaginable for years with nothing more than a pen to record and isolate your thoughts you would barely begin to scrape the cell splitting, mind melting insanity that is about to melt you like a subatomic bomb. Earth is dead. Too bad you're not.
Exodromos is the second full length by Spanish technical death metal unit Wormed. It has been ten years since their last full length Planisphærium with only an EP to tide over fans in the meantime entitled Quasineutrality. And while ten years is an insanely long time to wait for another full length, fans that have kept it together need to know right now: it was fucking worth it.
Exodromos is a dark, dizzying, maddening descent into a world that feels both musically and lyrically eons beyond others. It's like something Arthur C. Clarke and Issac Asimov would conceive if they were confined in a dank cell with only candlelight and a typewriter to go by. To call it bleak would be an understatement. The lyrics are like a captain's log of desolate isolation that pulls apart the listener cell by cell. The story content is a prequel to Planisphærium and still feels very observational, but also more philosophical in context.
Musically Wormed bring the game. Songs are dizzying in their levels of technicality, weaving perfectly to ally with the mood the lyrics aim to set. The first track “Nucleon” starts with an ominous grind that quickly blasts into madness. It feels like watching someone's head explode and managing to capture every one of their horrified thoughts as the pieces scatter across a dark, dying spaceship. Phlegeton's guttural growls reach such depths that they remind me of bands like Circle of Dead Children. Other tracks like “Solar Neutrinos” and “Xenoverse Discharger” focus more on mood (though they still bring the rage).
The flow of the album is truly flawless. Songs are broken up so perfectly and the mood of the album is captured with such precision that it's no wonder it took the band ten years to put out Exodromos. Those weary of bands that switch up the tempo or time signature too much will find the formula in its perfected state here. Even those that don't like the sudden switching or choppy feel of a lot of bands that fall into the “technical [insert genre]” category will find Exodromos a welcome band to listen to. Nothing feels forced or awkward and there isn't a single dull, dead second. The technicality is smooth and the dreadful mood that Exodromos has is never lost. It is a competent and consistent album start to finish.
The shadow Wormed cast with Exodromos is monolithic. The album is fast, technical, melodic, bleak, and endlessly interesting. It sounds like something you might find on the Event Horizon ship. Hell, even then, that film feels like a walk through smiles and sunshine land in comparison to Exodromos. Fans of Deathspell Omega, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Cerebral Bore should give this a listen. Even if you don't like those bands, check this out. This is one of the best metal albums that will drop this year. Don't sleep on it.