Don’t know what’s up with Spain and extreme metal bands lately, but whatever it is, it is awesome. Barbarian Swords are a Barcelonian constellation whose band name, image and cover brings to mind the mighty Conan the Barbarian, or perhaps rather the even mightier rip-off Thor the Conqueror. Formed in 2011, allegedly inspired by an Electric Wizards gig and the release of Burzum’s Fallen, the band has had a while to develop. Their original purpose was to mix black and doom metal, which is pretty much exactly what they seem to have done the past years.
Worms begins with an almost pure black metal track, where the influences from Burzum can be heard rather clearly. It does lower the tempo to doomier BPM:s at times though, so the basic alchemy is already at work. The production is very filthy, and the vocals of the most rabid black metal kind. Quality mixing and mastering ensure that nothing is lost in the fuzzing, distorted hell and the banging clanging of drums.
The doom/black ratio shifts heavily between tracks. “Pure Demonology”, which may be my favorite of the bunch, mixes odd ritualistic elements with black metal blast beats and still more Burzum riffing, punctuated by odd breaks. As the album progresses, it sludges along ever more in mid paced doom territory, even if the vocals and production keep the overall impression quite consistent. “Total Nihilism” is one of the slower songs, though it does not quite go to the extremes of early Esoteric or other such slow motion doom acts.
“The Last Virgin on Earth, sodomized” shocked me utterly by its lack of porn samples, and I almost suspected I had been given a faulty promo copy. My concerns were immediately addressed when the track ended, and punk influenced “Carnivorous Pussy” began pumping out such samples as if tomorrow would never come (and I swear to the God Barbarian Sword denies that I had finished jotting down the line about lack of porn samples less than a minute before they began).
The album ends with two massive, sludge drenched doom tracks: “Requiem”, clocking in at 18 minutes, and “Ultrasado Bloodbath” at 11. They both keep going in the same vein as the rest of the album, except they are almost pure doom. Aggressive, filthy, blackened doom, but doom none the less.
If you’re into slow black metal or really pissed off doom metal, this should probably be right up your alley. The label’s page about the album offers an utterly over the top manifesto of sorts, and its closing words sum up the album better than I can: “There is no chink of peace in Worms, only blasphemy, violence, chaos and anal violation.”