By Dr. Abner Mality

You knew it had to happen. You knew that this little morsel of filth would not escape our grasp. Hailing from Boston, Wormwood is not the first and probably won't be the last band to take their name from the "star of woe" in the Bible. I feel a certain kinship to them, as you might expect, but despite having a fortunate name, what else can be said about this version of Wormwood?

The PR blitz speaks of this as if it is a full length, but it is obviously an EP, coming in at well under 15 minutes. That surprises me in a good way because I was expecting dragged out sludge epics droning into infinity. It's a relief to say that Wormwood knows enough to keep it short and punchy. Although they are very much a sludge band and not a terribly original one.

Still, I like the miserable, swampy sound of this record. The guitar tone matches the best of known sludge masters but the vocals are a  bit more composed and not as gruf as I would have imagined. "Hollow Black Eyes" is a good introduction to their down-tuned but slightly melodic sstyle. You get four more cheery songs like "I'd Rather Die" and "White Plague", with the mini-album ending with the bass-driven instrumental "Reprise", which did NOT last 20 minutes like most boring sludge epics do.

To be worthy of the name Wormwood, a band should be really spectacular. I can't say Wormwood is at that level yet, but they just might get there.