Like most other genres, there are many different flavors of death metal these days. When you hear the term, you are not always sure what you are going to get. Sometimes it is fairly straight forward, not deviating from a certain path. Other times it is a sampling of multiple aspects. Michigan City, Indiana’s Psychomancer, sounding like a mix of Acid Witch, Vader, Deicide, Grave, and High On Fire, tries to do just that. Starting in 1997, they released an EP and an album before disbanding in 2011. Two years later, founding bassist/vocalist Duston Bullard reformed Psychomancer with Corey Blackstad (drums), Curt Hutchison (guitar), and Brad Heidorn (guitar). They reentered the studio with all new material, and recorded a six song EP. “Inject The Worms” was released April 6, 2015, through Orchestrated Misery Recordings.
My first impression of “Inject The Worms” was skeptical. What I guess are zombies on the album cover look like something my 12 year old son drew. Thankfully, upon pushing play, I found their recording engineer was better than their cover artist. Opener ‘In Shackles Insane’ starts off with blasts reminiscent of Cannibal Corpse, but then throws you off with a Panteraesque spoken word breakdown. ‘Just Another Victim’ is next, sounding like an old Biohazard song with blast beats and Cookie Monster vocals. The title track starts out a little slower with just a pinch of melody. It soon blasts away until the stop/start bridge that eventually turns to sludge. ‘Bastards Burn’ is what I am guessing is Psychomancer’s attempt at groove, comes off like a sloppy Six Feet Under. I got excited when ‘Abhorrent Wings of Decay’ starts off with an acoustic guitar intro before launching into some heavy melodic death riffs. However, this is short lived, as the song lacks any consistency, haphazardly jumping from one style to the next. ‘Chant of the War Demons’ closes out the EP the same way it started; with blast beats and growling vocals abound.
I am not sure what to think about “Inject The Worms.” I hoped that the next time I listened to it I would notice something I missed before. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. I think Psychomancer has an idea where they want to go, they are just not sure how to get there. I hope that “Inject The Worms” is only a speed bump in an otherwise successful journey.