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Worms of the Earth – The Lesser Ophidian Gate

Worms of the Earth - The Lesser Ophidian Gate

CD/digital, Bugs Crawling Out Of People, 2010

Worms of the Earth’s Dan Barret is back to demonstrate his genius once again with skull-crushing rhythmic precision and engulfing soundscapes that will leave you with mental images of unholy rites lingering into the night. “The Lesser Ophidian Gate” is a four-track EP with two bonus tracks featuring a remix by Vicious Alliance. The first four songs flow like a concept album, followed by a brief intermission and a menacing “Untitled (Trapped in Bardo)”, plus an EBM-influenced mix of “And I’ve Become the Demon” to close out the release.
The first song, “To Dawn the Visage of the Serpent”, sets the stage for this menacing album with an atmosphere that groans as it gives birth to metallic percussions. The beat changes and plunges in the blink of an eye to hard, distorted pounding and lulling melodic intermissions amidst the throb. “Traversing the Saurian Abyss” slows the tempo for an introduction again to drones and slithering effects before bashing your face in with rapid fire drums ridden by high strings – this song only stops in time to pull back its fist and catch its breath before continuing the assault. “Passing Through the Deep” startles the listener with its melody and demonstration of space amidst the sounds of water and a woman’s moans. Don’t be fooled, this is just a precursor to the foot-tapping beats and female harmony that glides in direct contrast to the scraping, raw snares. “Ajina (Viewing the Bodiless Realm)” is an IDM nightmare come true with a two minute intro reminiscent of Dead Voices On Air. The body of the song is a display in Dan’s versatility with this project, flowing from rhythmic noise to light melodies over complex rhythms and perfect transitions. The untitled intermission lingers for a mere twenty seconds before bringing on the bittersweet “Untitled (Trapped in Bardo)” which is a crescendo of remorse and frustration that is by far my pick from the album. The closing song, a remix of “And I’ve Become the Demon” by Vicious Alliance seems out of place on this release, trading the suspense for club anthem synths and distorted vocals; it is almost like what you hear after seeing a great horror film while scanning the credits. It is a well done remix but seems like it would fit better on a more dance floor oriented album versus the prior hour of intelligent atmospheres.
All in all, I highly suggest this release to any fan of rhythmic noise, dark ambient and simply great production.


— James Church

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