Review: Palace of Worms – The Ladder

Posted: April 18, 2016 in Reviews
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Palace of Worms - The Ladder

Oakland, CA black metal one man project Palace of Worms have dropped their new full length on Broken Limb Recordings, and it is almost fifty minutes of esoteric, blackened oddness. Palace of Worms have this strange, unique sound that is hard to describe. A combination of black metal, dark ambience and doomy atmospheres allow Palace of Worms to retain this Blut Aus Nord-esque eccentricity.

Opener ‘In the Twilight Divide’ showcases this sound very well. There is harsh, black metal but it is blended with an ambient sensibility and an almost post metal sense of space. It has this expansive section that brings to mind Wolves in the Throne Room, and this WITTR influence rears its head in other songs too, like the glacial fury of ‘From the Ash’, and the gloomy epic ‘Strange Constellations’. At the core, Palace of Worms has second wave black metal, but each song has these little embellishments that create an entity much harder to pin down.

The cloying, dense darkness of ‘Nightworld’ brings memories of the aural holocaust that was Mayhem’s ‘Ordo Ad Chao’, but with a much grander vision that doesn’t quite ache pure darkness like the original. Palace of Worms have definitely worked on their sound, and it is perfectly executed here. An expansive and somewhat adventurous take on the black metal template, with the mournful ‘Wreathe’ and the rampant ‘Empheral Blues’ showing both sides of their equally interesting coin. A great record, for multiple digestions.


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