Black metal’s rebellious first wave, spearheaded by Venom, was turbo-charged with Motörhead’s outlaw spirit. Any band that claims to integrate “equal parts black metal savagery and rock’n’roll defiance” as Vancouver’s Wormwitch do, must deliver the same lip-curled confidence and scumbag energy as their forbears, otherwise you may as well go play depressive black metal in your granny’s shed instead. Despite the odd snarling black’n’roll riff that engages the adrenal glands, Wormwitch fall far short of the leather’n’spikes precipice. The first four songs are tepid and forgettable, with the band reverting to moody introspection when they should be booting our heads off. And when they do show promise as on Relentless Death or Mantle Of Ignorance, there’s just no real danger – no reckless, brazen fuck-you attitude. It’s a pretty toothless start from a band with a bad name and no arrogance or sense of abandon. Do yourself a favour and go listen to Midnight or Gehennah instead.
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