Wormhole – The Weakest Among Us
Reviewed: January 2020
Released: 2020, Lacerated Enemy Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I loved Wormhole’s 2016 debut, GENESIS. An international troupe of sci-fi tech death collaborators that slams harder than a fat kid belly flopping at the community pool? Hells to the yes.
Much to my chagrin, I don’t love their follow up THE WEAKEST AMONG US nearly as much. It sucks when production values malign what’s otherwise a totally serviceable record, but dammit, the mix on THE WEAKEST AMONG US is shite. The already guttural and unintelligible vocals are buried so deep under everything else that I thought the opening title track just had a really long instrumental sequence before I realized otherwise. And one of the things that made GENESIS so impressive was that even though all of the performances were basically compiled into computer program, the end result sounded fat and robust. THE WEAKEST AMONG US strips all of that away for a thin, one-dimensional veneer, which ultimately does a disservice to the tunes themselves. Which also sucks, because the core of this new batch of tunes is pretty great.
Tracks like “rA9/myth” and “Ingswarm” up the ante on feats of technical agility, while “The Gas System” and “Quad MB” sound like OBSCURA-era Gorguts (which is empirically proven as the best era of Gorguts). But the rhythm guitar and kick drums are the only instruments to have a prominent spot coming through your speakers. I shouldn’t have to lean in closer to hear what else is happening behind the scenes, but I did so you don’t have to.
So here we are. Wormhole is a great band and THE WEAKEST AMONG US has the potential to be a great record. If you don’t mind monkeying with the eq on your stereo or jumping through some sonic hoops, it’s a worthy successor. Otherwise, it is in itself, the weakest among us.