Your Cart

Retro review: Worm’s Foreverglade is our GMVC album of the month


Mixing metal genres can be tricky alchemy. Each listener brings multiple sets of preferences, prejudices, and expectations to the table. For example: While death-doom or blackened crust are chocolate-and-peanut-butter delights to these ears, the blending of black metal with shoegaze or post-rock hits me like toothpaste and orange juice. The more styles or subgenres in the mix, combining them into a coherent whole that evokes them all and gives none the short shrift becomes something akin to wizardry. Florida’s Worm, formed in 2012 by Phantom Slaughter as a solo project in thrall to raw, ritualistic black metal, have spent years refining their dark magic, accruing collaborators and incorporating death metal influences to forge a sound that, by their 2021 LP FOREVERGLADE (20 Buck Spin), could be described as black death doom in nearly equal proportions. And that’s why FOREVERGLADE is the Gimme Metal Vinyl Club album of the month for May.


Phantom Slaughter was joined on FOREVERGLADE by new second guitarist Nihilistic Manifesto and session drummer L. Dusk, with former drummer Equimanthorn providing additional synthesizers. The synths are all over the album from the opening title track, recalling Beherit’s otherworldly atmospheres and the regal melodicism of Mercyful Fate. Choral vocals and tolling bells add layers of depth to “Murk Above the Dark Moor” before the song detours into pure death-doom and closes with a long and unexpectedly showy guitar solo. We’re far from Worm’s old demos here, in musical ambition as well as the general bigness of the recording. Speaking of big and ambitious, “Cloaked in Nightwinds” is an 11-minute epic that approaches the majestic misery of dISEMBOWELMENT and Evoken and highlights one of FOREVERGLADE’s neat songwriting tricks: Phantom Slaughter often deploys a black metal shriek over the deathliest riffs and death-growls on the more atmospheric sections. “Empire of the Necromancers” briefly abandons the funereal tempos of the rest of the LP for some full-on speedy black metal. On an album of lengthy tracks, the 3:39 “Subaqueous Funeral” is practically an interlude, almost all atmosphere and heavy on the solo shredding at the end again. And closing track “Centuries of Ooze” packs just about everything Worm does on Foreverglade into just under ten minutes: more suffocating death-doom, more black metal tempos and vocals, more synths and chanting. Worm’s cauldron is full of foul ingredients, but the resulting mix is hearty and satisfying.

Sign up for the Gimme Metal Vinyl Club here!

—Anthony Bartkewicz