Published Apr 01, 2020As if anyone expected anything different, WVRM's Colony Collapse is an unrelenting, bludgeoning assault on the ears from start to finish, in the best way possible. In true grindcore fashion, the album's 14 tracks clock in at just under 25 minutes, with only three longer than three minutes. Yet with such seamless transitions, they all blend together into what sounds like one long song.
Colony Collapse is full of meaty guitar hooks and aggressive drumming, and the way feedback, pick-scraping and other noise is used to add to the cacophonous atmosphere is impressive. The band have also incorporated a few instruments that aren't commonplace in grindcore music; violin, cello, Chinese prayer bowl and Tibetan prayer bells add layers of depth to the textured compositions. What really stands out, though, is Ian Nix's vocal performance. The agonizing growls, grunts and screeches are truly mesmerizing, and perfectly suit the desolate socio-political nature of the lyrics.
This is the sound of a band coming into their own. Colony Collapse has a more commercial feel than its predecessors, and though this may steer some fans away, the album has the potential to earn them more fans than it alienates. It's still a far cry from a "sellout" album, but Colony Collapse could be the release that gets WVRM some much-desired festival and tour slots. There's no question that this is a brutally heavy record, but something about it feels more accessible than a lot of other grindcore. Someone who's curious about the genre could start here. (Prosthetic)