Repulsion guitarist Matt Olivo described grindcore as ‘This isn’t metal, it isn’t punk, I don’t know what the fuck these guys are doing’. This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with the genre. When I was a teenager and first heard Repulsion’s Horrified I was immediately hooked by its aggression and relentless pace, so when I got the chance to review the new record from WVRM, I jumped at the chance.
Colony Collapse is the soon to be released third full length record by Greenville, South Carolina’s grind quartet WVRM. Greenville is not synonymous with having a huge metal scene, death metals Nile being the only one to spring to mind. The group states that they use this isolated scene as a source for their creative output. Colony Collapse shows how the group clearly wear their influences on their sleeve, whether it be the relentless aggression of Magrudergrind, the crushing riffs of Napalm Death or the animalistic vocals of Rotten Sound. These influences combined with WVRM’s own twist really carve out their own sound.
Grindcore is often linked with politics, this usually being left-wing in nature, and WVRM are political but not in the usual sense. Colony Collapse takes a micro-look at the effects of socio-political entrenchment on everyday lives. Proudly working class, they explore both the psychological and physical meaning of being so. This can be seen with the wonderful artwork created by local artist Wes Brooks. The image represents the titular colony collapse – a phenomenon that occurs when worker bees leave behind the queen bee and collapse the colony.
One of the best things about this scene is how an artist can convey their point in a one minute blast of abrasive madness. The album is twenty seven minutes long and fourteen track of relentless grindcore with crushing riffs for days. My only complaint is that it ends too soon as personally I would have appreciated more, but this doesn’t detract from the quality of the record.
Highlights of the record are most definitely the slam riff on Anti Democracy. It’s so filthy it makes me want to beat my fists into the ground until they’re a bloodied mess…
The vocal performance from Ian Nix is exemplary. The way he can move from shrill screams to hardcore shouts to low gutturals is amazing. The drums are excellent and produced perfectly. The snare sound in particular is great, it’s polished but keeping that raw punk sound we all crave. The samples used also perfectly fit the gaps between breaks and remind me of how Magrudergrind used similar on their first record. The best sample on Colony Collapse is for sure ‘step to your grave mother fucker’ in the break between War Promise/Secessionville. It gets me every time.
Highlights of the record are most definitely the slam riff on Anti Democracy. It’s so filthy it makes me want to beat my fists into the ground until they’re a bloodied mess. Others include the lyric on Furious Movement//The Burning Tower ‘Reap what you sew, sink like a fucking stone’ which hits harder than Iron Mike Tyson, or the haunting whistle that sits behind Violent Nuclear which makes my teeth itch, but in the best way. To sum up, the record is great. As mentioned before I only wish it was longer. It might not be the most ground breaking grind but it certainly is an album I keep coming back to, and will do for the foreseeable future. It’s a relentless, aggressive and abrasive whirlwind. So if you haven’t heard of the group before, fancy something new and you like your music stupidly heavy and at break neck speed, then look no further! Colony Collapse is for you!
Scribed by: Matt Alexander