WOUNDVAC – The Road Ahead

WOUNDVAC – The Road Ahead

It is not easy to break through in a genre overcrowded with similar sounding acts and this Arizonian grindcore quartet proves it on their 4th EP, a heavy and pulverising collection of similarly paced and sounding riffs of hardcore, death and thrash origin split into separate tracks, a major problem with majority of grindcore releases.

Woundvac was formed in 2014, the eponymous EP signaling their arrival. 2 more EPs and 3 splits later, they independently released their first album, "Terrorizing The Swarm" (2018) before, this, the subject at hand, on Corpse Flower Records, for a 5 track, almost 10 minute EP. For the recording, Woundvac was Drew Griffin, Brian Stevens, Kiel Siler, Rich Melling, but up to half of my kingdom in the new, post-Armageddon Earth to he or she who can figure out what each and every member is responsible for as they are not telling any time soon.

Aside from the heavily Carcass-ian 1992 intro, these four tracks generally reveal Woundvac’s love for Slayer, Machine Head, Napalm Death and Misery Index, as they quite expertly come up with interesting riffs but fail to impress with quality songwriting. In fact, they are given a very ample opportunity to showcase their compositional prowess on the only decently timed (03:51) track, the closer, "Institutional Bloodshed" and they waste half of it with a repetitive groove instead of murdering me with expected changes-on-a-dime riffing. The "Swallow" Korn-memory inducing "Tightening Chain" is a little better but, sadly, they run out of track time before it gets interesting. Frankly, the only track that I can honestly say I liked from start to finish is the first proper, "The Last Nail", and, should you be persuaded to sample this EP, I recommend you start there first, skipping the needless intro.

Not everyone can pull off grindcore like Misery Index or Napalm Death but we must remember that they both gave themselves more time as bands and concerning the track length. There’s only one "Reign In Blood" and few actually cite it among Slayer’s best, including Slayer members. Woundvac is young and green but they sound angry and this the only reason I gave their mediocre EP a tad bigger score than it deserves.