It was way back in 2020 that the first announcement of Wormrot returning to Plymouth was made, that fateful year meaning it of course did not happen. Fast forward through the years of turmoil and chaos and they are finally here, with a killer new critically acclaimed album Hiss but, as a duo with a temporary vocalist in the form of Gabriel Dubko of German/Austrian extreme metal act Implore. On a Monday of all days, well it is Plymouth, at the end of March, They are joined the recently formed fastcore outfit Charred Atlas by local lads Carcinoma, a blackened death metal trio who have been making a formidable racket since 2015 and have recently returned home a show in the cold snaps of Iceland – watch this space!
Starting 15 mins after doors means catching the last few notes of crusty fast-core act Charred Atlas whose singer has been angrily prowling and growling amongst the crowd – no doubt riling them up for a crazy show.
Carcinoma from Plymouth play a sombre, and ominous set of mesmerising black metal with a doomy twist that features repetitive, hypnotising riffs, dynamic and powerful drumming and a dual vocal attack of death growls and anguished howls. Blending a mix of dissonant death, black, and war metal with elements of drawn-out doom in between the clamorous hurricane of tight as fuck blast beats and riffs. A formidable death bell tone permeates the overall sound, adding the finishing touches to the hellish soundscape, that is surprisingly laden with visceral emotion that seeps out from behind the stubbornly aggressive façade.
Where Carcinoma are the kind of slow burn that nonchalantly bores a hole in skull/chest Wormrot goes straight for the jugular and the reaction of the audience after the emotional shellshock is to predictably lose it to the relentless grinding riffs.
A lot of Southwest grinders have come out of the woodwork for this revered show and the enthusiasm shows. They have clearly reserved their energy for Wormrot as the reception for Carcinoma is somewhat static, bar some head banging to the both terrifying, and mesmerising performance that is enough to put them on par with the headliners themselves. The packed out Junction, or at least the front of it, is a moderately writhing mass of limbs and sweat torsos shoving each other around and punching the air while occasionally attempting a successful stage dive and crowd surf off the low built stage. Temporary vocalist Dubko is respectfully mindful of not stealing the limelight from the Singaporean duo of Rasyid Juraimi on guitar and drumming animal Vijesh Ghariwala, who barely pauses for breath as he pummels the skins of his impressive kit. Blending grind core with blackened riffs and rapid-fire gatling gun style blast beats that are scattered with complex decorative fills which are all accompanied by a joyous vigour and infectious grin, the energy from the two is electric but it is hard to ignore the missing link.
Where there is a little more atmosphere with the strangely calming stage presence of Arif it seems Dubkos approach of an aggressive attack and then a quiet exit makes for the performance to be more of an all guns blazing assault without the varied and emotional atmosphere conveyed in Hiss. It is a shame, but is understandable and still an absolute riot.
Words and Photography : Abi Coulson- Darktones Photography