WVRM - Swarm Sound

Swarm Sound is the third release in less than a year from Greenville, South Carolina's, WVRM. This is a band who is not wasting any time getting on the radar of pretty much every metal fan in their home state, as well as some regional indie labels. Deservedly so, considering how ferocious and unrelenting their output has been thus far, and Swarm Sound is no different in that regard.

This is an album masterfully mixed by Roger Caughman of another fantastic S.C. band who have gained some national buzz, darkentries. Imagine Converge and Pig Destroyer trapped in a giant hornet's nest; WVRM is what comes barreling out at blinding speed, covered in welts, and screaming in pain, but still coming directly for your throat. It is a sound that is terrifying, and unstoppable in it's determination to destroy everything.

Two of my all-time favorite things to hear on a heavy album are prominently on display during Swarm Sound; blast-beats, and layered feedback. From the moment "Demoness" blares out of the speakers, you're sucked into the mire of "grinding self-hatred" that is WVRM. The occasional catchy riff provides only enough sunlight to remind you that you're not getting out of this bleak pit alive. It is immediately obvious that these guys aren't playing around here; to say this is intense music would be like saying that oxygen is important.

At the halfway point, "Dear Parasite" slows the pace of the album just enough to make you think you're getting a break, but no, playing at half-speed only makes WVRM sound more brutal. The guitar tone is massive, the vocals are maniacal, and tortured; I found myself compelled to crush everything in sight several times during this album. The title track is a harsh, growled vocal over swarming insects before arriving at a blast-fueled crescendo and subsequent breakdown. This will scare the bejesus out of your average person, and for that, I love it.

It's not pleasant listening in as much as the subject matter is downright depressing at times, and of course, there's the grindcore assault on your ears throughout. However, this is 
truly awe-inspiring in it's dark, and nihilistic extremity; it's like watching an inferno and noticing the beautiful shades of orange as it engulfs your surroundings. “Blastphemous” is 43 eardrum-shredding seconds of glorious chaos, punctuated by more blasts and feedback in between speedy, Metallic Hardcore riffs. A Tex Ritter sample closes the album with a creepy exclamation point I'm sure would make the old cowboy turn in his grave.

If you're looking for something brutally heavy and cathartic, this is the album for you, without question. Combining the speed of Grindcore with undeniable, huge-sounding breakdowns, WVRM have unleashed a true monster on the world. A swarming sound of fury, and despair, offering no hope for the world, only the soundtrack to it's destruction.

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