Record Reviews

Wormwood “The Star”

Wormwood concludes an album trilogy about death with a magnificent new album full of atmospheric, melodic black metal with some melancholic folk metal parts.

Swedish band Wormwood, formed in 2014, is back with a new album, “The Star”. Having debuted with an EP in 2015, the band’s sound has evolved over several albums. They now play what I would call atmospheric, melodic black metal with some melancholic folk metal parts. At times, Wormwood reminds me a bit of the Norwegian band Kampfar. Wormwood is different from the Norwegians’ music but equally good. The Wormwood members have also been playing with other acts such as Riket, Withershin and Månegarm, and some musical influences are shared with those bands. The band consists of Tobias Rydsheim and Jerry Engström (guitars), Georg “Nine” Ekbladh (vocals) and Oscar Tornborg (bass). Drummer Tatu Kerttula plays on the record but has since left the band. A new permanent drummer has not yet been announced.

This new album, the band’s fourth full-length studio album, is fantastic. The seven-track long album mixes songs with lyrics sung in both Swedish and English. As much as I love the full-on aggression, brutality and sweaty energy, the calmer melodic parts, for example, on the track “Stjärnfall”, set this album apart from the pack. The contrasts make this epic. “The Star” is the final chapter in the band’s trilogy of albums focused on the theme of death that started with “Nattarvet” (2019) and “Arkivet” (2021). The previous two albums in the trilogy covered the 19th-century famine in the Nordic region and the downfall of mankind. The new album is about the end of the universe (how about that for cheering you up?). The terrific track “Suffer Existence” is a soundtrack to the end of the world. It is a beautiful song in its chaotic excellence and sums up Wormwood in one song. All the trademark Wormwood parts have been condensed into five minutes and 24 seconds of pure bliss.

What an excellent record! Do yourself a favour and buy the album, preferably on vinyl from your local record store.

Wormwood’s new album “The Star” is out now via Black Lodge Records.