WVRM are a grindcore band from South Carolina and they have just released a new EP. That EP is called Can You Hear the Wind Howl and it was released via To Live A Lie Records.
WVRM formed in 2013 and have released 3 full length albums and two EPs before releasing Can You Hear the Wind Howl. That is a pretty good return for such a short career so far. WVRM are Ian Nix on vocals and Derick Caperton on guitars. Dylan Walker is the bassist and Brett Terrapin is on the drums. WVRM play a pretty extreme mix of death metal and grind, focusing on short and sharp blasts of music. Thematically, they touch on subjects like loss, depression and life struggles.
Can You Hear the Wind Howl is 6 tracks long. While that might seem a good amount of tracks for an EP, the total length of the album is around 9 minutes. These songs are short, like the rest of the band’s catalogue. For example, their full length album from 2016 called Heartache has 8 tracks on it but is just less than 19 minutes long. I guess that explains why the band are able to release music regularly. It was probably necessary to get a fair few tracks out too to be able to pout on a good live show. When your tracks are around a minute long, you need a lot of them for a 30 or 40 minute set.
One song in particular stands out very quickly, in regards to length, on the EP and that is Distinguish. You will instantly notice it is just 17 seconds long and probably, like me, assume it is some sort of short instrumental or atmospheric effect but it is a song. A brief but brutal verse of roared vocals and blistering drums are surrounded by a few seconds of distorted guitar squeals. Swollen Belly is less than a minute long and is just as fierce with vocals that are fast and raw. There are different tones though with higher pitched yells being off set by deep, throaty growls. The drums are insanely quick and the bass and guitars are bashing out a riff. They come to the forefront in the last 20 seconds though with a really cool riff backed up by more rhythmic drumming and vocals.
This is obviously a very heavy record but it is really nice to see that there is plenty of room for strong riffs and a bit of rhythm. Title track Can You Hear the Wind Howl is jam packed full of infectious rhythm. It builds into chaos before being pulled back from the brink near the end. Bag of Blades chucks in a really chunky, chug sound but backed by drums that are being hit so fast, they almost become a wall of noise. I love the deep and dark vocals in this track and especially the extended guttural roars.
The last two tracks on the EP are Suffer Ritual and the nicely named Mountain of Dead Pigs. Both tracks are the longest ones on the album. Suffer Ritual is over 3 minutes long and “Pigs” just under 2 minutes. Suffer Ritual sticks to the slower tempo riff with blistering drum blasts. A deep vocal tone and a ton of groove like chug. You also get a couple nice little guitar leads in the mix too. Mountain of Dead Pigs starts with an extended guitar note before going for the full on, sucker punch heaviness with mixed vocal tones and a furiously picked riff. A couple guitar leads break through the wall of noise and keep the track fresh. The end is just 30 seconds of drawn out squeals and reverb which I could have done without as the last sound before the album closes.
There is a lot to love on Can You Hear the Wind Howl. It is quite amazing how much variation has been jammed in to 9 minutes too. There are bits I don’t really love. I don’t get the purpose of a 17 second long song and some of the longer songs are only longer because of length echo and distortion sounds. There is a lot of fun to be had too though with some great riffs, really strong vocals and drumming that will bash your brains in. It is a very good EP though I do think it is a bit too short.
You can pick up Can You Hear the Wind Howl from To Live a Lie here or from WVRM’s Bandcamp page here. You can also pick it up from the links below along with more from the band. Check out WVRM on Facebook for more information on them and their music. Be sure to give them a Like and a Follow while you are there.
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Can You Hear the Wind Howl by WVRM (To Live a Lie Records)
The Final Score - 7/10