So it's been a minute since I've reviewed some proper blackened doom metal - and Barbarian Swords seem to take the genre tag quite literally. Their sound is defined by moments of twisted esoteric sounds, in the polemic of what we traditionally would call blackened doom, counterbalanced against blazing black metal fury reminiscent of acts like Destroyer 666. This creates a soundworld that might not appeal to everyone but certainly has me fascinated - enamored with the raging magic and power found on Worms.
The thing is - Barbarian Swords could be a marvelous doom band if they just stuck to that, the fact that they don't isn't always to their advantage, though it certainly adds musical interest. I'm glad that the last two tracks on the record, Requiem and Ultrasado Bloodbath are simply straight up doom, twisted and evil. That being said, the deliberate counterpoint between the punky Endstille-like rager Carnivorous Pussy and Requiem is tasty and Worms certainly wouldn't be quite as good without it's moments of black metal ferocity - I simply feel like it could be better executed. As is this is an album that touches on traditional extreme metal tropes and blasts forth with an obscene violence.
It's easy to get lost in the soaring chords and dragged into the depths by the raspy snarl of the vocals. This is an album that hints at a lot of potential and I think with a little more time invested in songwriting and production this is a group who could truly take things to the next level. There is something strangely surreal about the way you fall into the ethereal sounds found on Worms and it makes you want to come back to pick it apart time and time again. But what do I know - I'm writing about doom on Christmas!
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