Review: “In The Wake Ov Sòl” by Worm Shepherd

Connecticut Blackened Deathcore brutes Worm Shepherd released their debut album “In The Wake Ov Sòl” six months ago and having gained much attention for it, they’ve inked a deal with arguably the heaviest mainstream label around at the moment in Unique Leader Records. While hatching big plans together including finalising their follow up album with plans to enter the studio in mid-2021 and the prospect of shows and tours on the horizon, in the meantime the label will re-release the album with an additional track, bringing Metal to the Masses. Since the album was initially released the band have welcomed an additional guitarist in Tre Purdue with the band citing influences of Oceans Ate Alaska, Black Tongue and Lorna Shore on this one…

Vocalist Devin Duarte lyrically explores a series of suicide scenarios and reasoning behind them “In The Wake Ov Sòl“, exposing black thoughts and serving to highlight the issue with the hope of letting those who are affected by such thoughts that they are not alone; something that we can all relate to. Each cut is a battle between the forces of darkness and light forged in the furnaces of Hell and rammed with all manor of curiosities as Worm Shepherd well and truly open Pandora’s box and let all the nasties out. Elements of Technical Death Metal, DJent, Symphonic Death Metal, Deathcore and Slam are all included in a beast of a record that is unrelenting in its sheer dark quality. From the relentless blast beats and primal growls that raise the dead to the haunting evil of the music box on “Wretchedness Upon the Gates“, Worm Shepherd are masters of all things oppressive and atmospheric and align themselves with bands like Enterprise Earth and Lorna Shore in style. The guest vocalists are each well chosen and make their mark with powerful performances; we never thought for a second that Alex Koehler once of Chelsea Grin, would return to the genre in which he made his name but he unleashes hell from his throat like a man possessed by a Demonic plague with something to prove. Similarly David Simonich turns to dust all those in his wake with his fearsome throat shredding performance. Mid album cut “The Emptiness Between Stars” will no doubt be singled out by purists, it’s melancholic lamenting lead in and fade out being the moments of clarity before the central storm which makes for something truly stunning and masterful in creating a sense of foreboding. There is something of the Cinematic in “The Frozen Lake” and “The Crimson Moon Unwithered” thanks to the icy synth parts which make it the perfect soundtrack for a Horror film, the bursts of incendiary patterns with momentary pauses for effect simply adding to its bone crushing weight. There are obvious comparisons vocally between Devin Duarte and former Lorna Shore and Signs of the Swarm vocalist CJ McCreery; they have very similar ranges and there are points when you find yourself asking simply how the sounds they produce are even possible. Then you have the drumming of Leo Worrell McClain who is an absolute beast. As an album, it’s a full on punishment beating that pushes the listener to the edge of sanity and back; it transcends sub-genres with ease with more twists and turns than a psychological thriller [8.5/10]

Track listing

1: Accursed (ft. Alex Koehler of Chelsea Grin
2: In the Wake Ov Sol
3: Ragnarok 
4: Wretchedness Upon the Gates (ft. David Simonich of Signs of the Swarm
5: The Emptiness Between Stars 
6: The Frozen Lake 
7: Aether 
8: Loathe 
9: The Crimson Moon Unwithered (ft. Adam Mercer of A Wake in Providence
10: Chasm Dweller

“In The Wake Ov Sòl” by Worm Shepherd is out 4th June via Unique Leader Records and is available over at bandcamp

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