Wormskull – Demo 1

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Label: Self-released

This does exactly what you’d hope for on a blackened metalpunk demo. Despite containing just 3 tracks and lasting a mere 7 minutes, Demo 1 by American duo Wormskull is a real slice of nastiness, sure to result in banging heads and raised fists. There’s nothing especially clever or sophisticated about it, and nor should there be. Metalpunk often works best when stripped back, focusing on filthy riffs and vicious vocals, which is exactly the case here. Rabid and dangerous, this is how metalpunk should be.

Each one of these three tracks is possessed of a demonic energy and violence, with Julian’s riffs finding the common ground between Darkthrone (both the black metal and metalpunk versions) and Motorhead atop a foundation of solid, punishing drumming from Elegiac mainman Zane. Opener “Crawling Specimen” wastes no time, launching right in with nocturnally powered riffs and hammering drums, and the demo doesn’t relent from there. The vocals are all but indecipherable, though their intentions are always clear, and there’s the odd “ugh!” thrown in, in a manner that anyone who has ever enjoyed an (early) Celtic Frost record will appreciate. And the production is absolutely perfect, filthy and raw and full of DIY attitude.

Even if it’s not exactly reinventing the wheel, Demo 1 could never be accused of being generic or dull. Each track has a different character, with “Black Fire” pushing the desperation and instability to the fore. Closer “Nocturnal Knights” is the longest track, taking in more changes of tempo and tone, though staying undeniably dirty and nasty throughout. But what’s most important is the sheer metalpunk joy it elicits, exemplifying all that is good in this style of music, and it’s all played with such conviction and passion that it’s hard not to get swept along. Sure, it might not change your world, but it’ll provide a quick burst of energy and a kick in the teeth when needed. If this doesn’t get you going in the morning, nothing will.

Demo 1 is available to stream and download via Bandcamp.

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