Wargasm's Venom: a fun as hell, genre-splicing, relentlessly entertaining ride, and one of 2023's essential debut albums

Wargasm have justified the hype with one of 2023's best debut albums

Wargasm in 2023
(Image: © Haris Nukem)

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In the five years since they bounced head-first into an unsuspecting metal scene, Wargasm have already racked up millions of streams, played main stage sets at the likes of Download, Louder Than Life and Bloodstock, and nabbed supporting slots with everyone from Babymetal to Limp Bizkit. Now, with a debut full-length album to finally show for their efforts, it’s time to nut up or shut up – and the genre-splicing duo have delivered and then some.

Bashing together elements of punk, metal, EDM and hip hop with the vigour and recklessness of a toddler who’s just downed 12 cans of Red Bull, Venom is
a relentlessly entertaining ride, driven by sheer energy and kept on course by the two-piece force of personality that is Milkie Way and Sam Matlock. 

Sam’s deranged screams bouncing off Milkie’s croons, wails and yelps makes for an electrifying dynamic, as the album leaps from the brooding, throbbing industrial rock of Death Rattle and Modern Love through to Ride The Thunder’s pulsating, bouncy EDM and juddering groove metal, to the peppy, Prodigy-powered drum’n’bass of Do It So Good and Feral’s jagged nu metal swagger. S.A.D. sounds like The Mad Capsule Markets produced by Trent Reznor, while Fred Durst’s typically bullish cameo on Bang Ya Head is brilliant fun, the Bizkit legend dropping daft but earwormy bars over massive, groovy riffs and glitchy electronica.

The best thing about all of this? As great as Venom is, there’s still potential to refine some of the ideas the duo are toying with. ‘We’re Wargasm! Wargasm sound like THIS!’ declares Milkie on outro track Sombre Goodbye, which teases an emotionally wrought send-off before exploding into a final flurry of riffs and screams. What Wargasm sound like is an absolute riot, and they’ve just dropped one of 2023’s essential debut albums.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.