Since discovering WVRM in 2017 with Can You Hear the Wind Howl, I’ve real enjoyed their work. Which is why I knew I had to check out Colony Collapse. Spread across 27 minutes of violent power channelled into 14 furious grindcore songs, this album is a force to be reckoned with.
As well as your standard grind ingredients, there are also death metal, sludge, and doom influences to be found, as well as more subtle experimental aspects; a few different noises, sounds, and instruments have found their way into WVRM’s sound, including violin, cello, bells, noise, and others. These additional sounds and elements enrich the band’s viscous grindcore, making for an album that’s bleak and savage, yet rich in rewards for grindcore connoisseurs of the style.
The band’s songs are sharply brutal, containing razor sharp riffs, serrated high speed blast beats, and belligerent crushing groove. It’s a punishing and intense listen, and the songwriting boasts the sort of addictive high quality craftsmanship that means that as soon as the record is over you just want to hear it again.
The song lengths vary on the album, from barely 30 seconds to over three minutes. This is an indicator of the depth and diversity of heaviness that’s on offer here. It’s grindcore for sure, but grindcore that knows it’s important to vary the pace and dynamics somewhat to keep things interesting.
Everything here is extremely well-realised and delivered, but I must make particular mention of the vocals. These, like the music, are never just one thing, and all manner of screams, shouts, growls, and roars are used widely and proficiently. The singer has a damn good voice for this sort of work.
Is Colony Collapse one of the great grindcore albums of 2020? Could be.