Album: Black Path (EP)
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re an interstellar traveller. Awesome! You’re probably thinking to yourself. I mean, who wouldn’t want to travel the stars in the endless search for new and exciting signs of life? Well–here’s another hypothetical situation. One day, you do find new life. The only issue? It didn’t want to be found, leaving you eviscerated entirely by it’s menacing, crushing jaws. Gutted and left for dead by this curse disguised as a blessing. This situation is much like the one presented in Michigan death metal supergroup Boreworm, and their debut EP, Black Path. While at first subtle and alluring, it quickly ensnares the listener with ravaging blast beats, catchy, lacerating riffs and pulverizing vocals which trap the listener tightly within its clutches and leaves no survivors.
Instrumentally, Black Path is a force to be reckoned with–well, a force that could be reckoned with. However, despite anyone’s best efforts at retaliating against the lacerating, skin-shredding blast beats or disemboweling riffs, the listener has no hope. “Hive Conduit” is so packed with intense, vicious fretwork that it cannot be ignored, while the drums don’t ever drop their pace on the entire release. There is a pervasive hyper-speed element to the percussion which is not just impressive, but absolutely savage. The only time the instrumentation takes any slight decrease in pace is to synchronize into a positively pummeling breakdown or subtle sneak-attack style of an interlude. “Hive Conduit” again is a track which utlizies this strategy all to well. Blazing along at a break-neck pace, the track seems absolutely unstoppable until, at the drop of a dime, the song slams on the breaks, and without skipping a beat or seeming forced at all, nose dives into a stellar, smooth interlude almost as calm as space itself. It’s these touches of atmosphere and ethereal near-jazz which give the album added instrumental death and make it more than just “another death metal EP.”
What about the other end of the spectrum, however? Fear not–while there are moments of beautiful soloing, noodling shred and smooth interludes, Boreworm are also more than adept at delivering spine-shattering heaviness. “Black Path” does this exceptionally well, sneaking in splashes of deathcore-styled heaviness and slam-influenced whallops to completely knock the listener ass-over-teakettles out of their chair. Black Path’s climactic track, “Xenophagia” does this as well, contrasting absolutely spacey and ethereal solos against blistering, bone-breaking slams. The heavy elements, especially those found on “Black Path” and “Xenophagia” are made all the heavier by the persistent vocal onslaught which Boreworm bring to the table. Toggling rapidly between a shrieking, ear-splitting high scream and a bellowed, subterranean low growl, the vocals are so dynamic and diverse that they, too, bring added depth to this short gem of an EP. While the instrumentation is no where near boring or monotonous, the vocals help keep the feel and flow of the release fresh, adding a low end where one is needed, and keeping the blood boiling when things seem like they might be reaching stagnancy. Rather than lull the listener to sleep with a constant, mid-range roar, the vocals on Black Path are the unfathomably long and voracious tentacles of Boreworm’s extraterrestrial attack on the listener, grabbing them and shaking them to death.
However, it isn’t the slamming instrumentals, silky solos or visceral vocals on their own which do the trick to make Boreworm’s first release a legendary one. It’s the way everything comes together, and how well Black Path flows, even in light of it being such a short release. In all actuality, while it tops in at under 17 minutes long, Black Path is a stunning journey of an album which is incredibly immersive and devious in its details. By using vocals to accentuate the already punctual and pervasive musicianship, the two-fold attack launched by Boreworm on the listener leaves them absolutely defenseless. Alone and disarmed, the listener has no choice but to welcome Boreworm’s onslaught with open arms and take what the act has to give them–whether it’s devastating heaviness at the hands of “Black Path” or incredibly incorporated shred in “Xenophagia” and “Hive Conduit.” The punchline is, while the listener will undoubtedly meet their fate at the hands of Black Path, their last seconds in this realm will be pleasant ones, as Boreworm have nothing but the best and most thought-provokingly crafted death metal to offer.
If you’re looking for a journey through space and time which will leave you in awe and absolutely mesmerized, look no further than Boreworm’s Black Path. Filled with stunning solos, pounding percussion, lacerating riffs and devastating heaviness, there is a little something for everyone in this release; even if the result is an allure so tantalizing and captivating the EP will end up sucking you in, splitting your bones and chewing you up.
For Fans Of: The Yellow Sign, The Gun Show, The Black Dahlia Murder, An American Shootout
By: Connor Welsh