Wormfood – L’Envers

The French band Wormfood have been shaking the music scene of their country since the beginning of the millennium and have already released five long-distance albums, including this last one entitled L’Envers. Born with extreme bases, like many other transalpine realities have then evolved slowly towards avant-garde forms but, compared to others, Wormfood can better focus their innovative impulses without ever showing too much brain. This happens also thanks to a particular sonic assonance to the great Type 0 Negative: this closeness to the historical U.S. band comes not only from the deep tone of voice that the leader Emmanuel Lévy has in common with the late Peter Steele, but also for a sound that often moves towards that particular form of gothic doom able to cloak the songs of a suffused and restless darkness. Moreover, the presence as a guest of Paul Bento, already Steele’s partner at the time of Carnivore and able to enhance with his sitar a masterpiece like Bloody Kisses and not only, provides a sort of imprimatur to the French band as a worthy and credible bearer of the word of Type 0 Negative. Finally, to further unite the two bands there is also the presence of a leader with a personality as brilliant as tormented, net of the differences constituted by the different cultural background: an aspect that in Wormfood characterizes in a decisive way the sound, emphasizing the theatricality through the histrionic interpretation of Lévy. A theater that, in the end, is the main theme of the album, although here we speak of an artistic representation macabre and grotesque, in deference to the sardonic mood that hovers over the entire work: everything that comes out could also be indigestible to those who do not appreciate so much or such nuances and, above all, the French idiom that, on the other hand, is absolutely functional to the final yield constituting, at the same time, a fundamental distinguishing factor. In L’Envers there are tracks of excellent level: net of the long introduction recited, it always proceeds effectively between avant-garde sounds and magnificent melodic openings in which, often, are the keyboards to hold bench together, of course, the eclectic and deep vocals of Lévy. The reference to the New York band becomes explicit in what seems almost a mediumistic experiment, or the only song sung in English, Gone On The Hoist (G.O.T.H.), in which Steele is literally brought to life by the French singer, with the decisive contribution of the sitar of Bento and hammond “silverian” played producer of the album Axel Wursthorn. I realize that these constant references could make you think at first glance to a derivative work of copying, but I would like to sweep away the possible misunderstanding in a clear way: if there is something that does not fail to Wormfood is just the personality, which is well defined from the first to the last note of a work that goes, moreover, in crescendo after each listening, reserving in the final the best things although its first part is already remarkable. Gehenna, for example, is a formidable song, full of dramatic emphasis and sudden melodic openings, which is the common feature of an entire disc to enjoy sitting in an armchair and imagining being in front of a stage on which unusual actors perform their putrid and perverse art. L’Envers is yet another proof of the vitality of a French scene made of bands that prefer to move in an oblique way with respect to the various genres, and the atavistic rivalry that has always set us against our neighbors across the Alps should never make us lose sight of the necessary objectivity in judging the work, especially in a field like art where the fans or chauvinism have no reason to be.

2016 – Apathia Records