by Shaina Vriezelaar (@brimstonebutch)
Whatever Forever is the sixth release by three-piece Chicago group Oozing Wound, for its mess of sarcastic savagery. Whatever Forever refuses to go down in the third round and instead vies for a knockout as early as possible, making for a terrifyingly colorful piece of mayhem that's sure to please any purist still stuck in mourning from thrash's “death” in 1991.
Hailing the album's breakneck start is “Rambo 5 (Pre-Emptive Strike).” The song begins without drums in a tangled mess of looping guitar riffs, before settling into a heavy, Megadeth-esque d-beat assault. It evokes the same nostalgia of other thrash greats, like Mastodon's Blood Mountain, for its hellaciously-toned flourish. The hellbent anthem “Diver,” whose lyrics read like a condemnation of lethargy and depression, sit alongside an impeccable wave of melodic stutter-stepping bass and guitar.
By “Deep Space,” Oozing Wound have fully asserted their love of bizarre sludge and noisy prog, alternating between in-your-face thrash and screechy, wailing feedback; “Mercury in Retrograde Virus” has guitar lines that wouldn't be out of place on an early Swans record. The shrieking “Weather Tamer,” smack dab in the middle of the ten-track album, is a furious composition, striking savagely at first and letting the drums drop out in the middle, before emerging from the storm's eye with the same destructive rhythm. “Everything Sucks, And My Life Is A Lie” careens up and down like a lost Buzzov*en demo, while the bite-sized “Eruptor” redlines its own engine for an interlude of just under two minutes. “You Owe Me, Iommi” is a swirly and ambient concoction, a weird introduction before “Sky Creep,” which thumps all the way into a sample of the band's own jeering attitude, rolling up into a count-off that abruptly ends the record in a cyclical fashion.
“Deep Space” is the record's most crazed and well-polished facet, and aside from what is the strongest track on Whatever Forever, it earns my vote for being inspired by a Deep Space Nine episode. Oozing Wound's own sarcastic self-interview and the breakdown of their songs, provided on their Bandcamp page, is as odd as their musical creation itself: it communicates an extra aspect of the band's self-deprecating and nihilistic feelings in much-needed externality.
If you're a fan of thrash metal, check this out. If you're a fan of intense, aggressive thrash metal with sections seemingly pulled out of a sonic hat, check this out. Finally, if you're fan of not just thrash's own destructive anger, but the crazed, often eclectic strangeness that comes with “the desire to slay,” look no further than Whatever Forever.