John Cooke (Napalm Death) is a man not used to sitting still. For the last ten years he’s lived and breathed music – spending much of his life on the road – as a member of Malevolent Creation, Corrupt Moral Altar, Venomous Concept, and Napalm Death. On his travels John has kept a journal, writing lyrical nuggets ideas down while touring with Napalm Death for the last 7 years. Then on rare moments at home he’s experimented with musical soundscapes on his guitar, informed by his love of Godflesh, Ministry and Scorn’s Vae Solis album.
When the pandemic arrived in the Spring of 2020, with all touring plans cancelled, John focused on pulling these musical ideas together. Working with his Corrupt Moral Altar bandmates Tom Dring (who “fixed, mixed and fucked with” the riffs at his Vagrant Studios) and vocalist Chris Reese (who provided vocals on Virtu), the result is Lair of the White Worm. APF Records, who released Corrupt Moral Altar’s Patiently Waiting for Wonderful Things EP in 2020, and Trepanation Recordings (run by Dan Dolby of Mastiff) have joined forces to bludgeon you with Lair of the White Worm’s eponymous debut 6-track EP on 15th October 2021.
The first Lair of the White Worm EP has been in the works for many years between tours and sometimes written while on tour. Especially after covid hit, it has been a way for me to deal with the last 18 months at home, and try to turn a negative into a positive.
Welcome to the lair of the white worm. Where oppressive and uncomfortable heavy soundscapes assail the mind like a tornado whipping through a cornfield. A mix of industrial metal and noise, this debut EP is an uncomfortable listen. A fuck-ton of sounds attacking and assaulting the mind, it sounds so dangerous.
Yes, it’s highly experimental and if heavy, industrial sounds do little for you, then you’re probably not going to enjoy this. However, it doesn’t just lean into the darker pit of things. It jumps feet first with no idea of where the bottom is.
While little good can be gleamed from the COVID pandemic, that John Cooke finally found the time to get this release together is an example of something positive. Even if musically, it doesn’t exactly put you in a positive mind frame.
The right word is tense. This EP makes you feel tense and the only release comes when it ends. This is not a knock on the quality though as Lair of the White Worm have expertly crafted this unique slice of horror.
Lair of the White Worm – EP1 Full Track Listing:
3. Bankrupt Morality
4. Into Ludes
5. Misery Box
Lair of the White Worm - EP1 (APF Records/Trepanation Recordings)
The Final Score - 7/10