Begraven Mot Norr (Italian/English)
"Our favorite local one man arboreal black metal band returns with a brief split to tide us over until the impending release of both V and VI, in the seemingly (and thankfully) unending barrage of material oozing up from the verdant realm. And like the last few Botanist releases, the tracks here find the sound drifting every further away from the black metal that, only barely, defined the sound of those recordings. Minus the vokills, the three tracks here are super melodic, a little bit blissy and shoegazey, and sound like some avant post rock you might find on Temporary Residence. Even with blast beats and a healthy heaping of buzz, the tracks here soar and chime, you can almost envision some wistful sad boy vox and suddenly, this is total teenage mixtape material, which is not a bad thing at all. And when the blacker elements are woven in, it becomes something truly strange and wonderful, and just further demonstrates why the rest of the world, particularly the non metal portion, have been flipping out over this stuff.
Palace of Worms, on the other hand, is something all together more metallic and grim, their opening track a creepy doomy sprawl, all woozy minor key melodies, haunting ambience, the sound slowly building to something much more epic and majestic, a black buzz, but one that's muted and swaddled in swoonsome synths, giving the sound a sort of washed out and sun dappled quality, which makes it a good match for Botanist. But those moments of wispiness, are more than made up for by some more intense, growly, metallic black buzz, the sound deftly balance between the two, songs flitting from grinding downtuned churn, to synthy shimmer, to crystalline post-metal drift and back again.
Great great stuff from both bands, and some seriously awesome cover art to boot!" -- Aquarius Records, November 22, 2013
BEGRAVEN MOT NORR
(the original Italian posting)
"Quello tra Botanist e Palace of Worms è uno split di cui già si aveva notizia da un po’ di tempo, e sul quale si è chiacchierato abbastanza. Il merito va a tutte e due le parti, poiché tutte e due gli artisti sono considerati, giustamente, quelli tra i più promettenti della scena Black della Bay Area, uno compiendo scelte artistiche poco ortodosse, l’altro invece mettendo in moto qualcosa di più classico che varia tra Beherit e i Darkthrone più punk.
Per chi già segue da tempo il progetto di Otrebor, non dovrebbe rappresentare una sorpresa questa ennesima evoluzione nella composizione dei brani, che in questo split ci presentano aspetti inediti della musica di Botanist. Sin dai primi secondi di 'Tillandsia' è subito evidente che il pezzo è diverso da qualsiasi altro fino ad oggi pubblicato. Ci avvolge un’atmosfera eterea creata dall’inseparabile dulcimer, ed entrandoci dentro, il pezzo ci getta in uno stato di tristezza quasi estatica. Il vuoto che crea, e nel quale ci tiene sospesi, è paragonabile ed in perfetta sintonia con la natura delle piante da cui i brani prendono il nome, che sono tutte delle rampicanti.
Sensazione di sospensione che, in 'Senecio,' si rafforza grazie all’inedito cantato pulito e ai sussurri che accompagnano gli insistenti e ciclici colpi di dulcimer, la cui ossessiva ripetitività e inquietudine danno al brano uno strano tocco di psichedelia dai connotati tribali, evocando un primitivismo naturale che sconvolge ed è causa strane visioni.
A dare forza a quest’immagine giunge la conclusiva 'Trandescansia Pallida,' un brano che poco si discosta da quelli sentiti del precedente IV: Mandragora, ma che comunque contribuisce in maniera efficace al progetto della band di San Francisco.
La causa invece del rumore e dell’impazienza che hanno seguito la notizia dell’uscita di nuovi brani di Palace of Worms è il fatto che la talentuosa one-man band californiana non si faceva sentire da esattamente un anno, quando è uscito (sempre per The Flenser) l’incredibile split con i Mastery.
I tre brani presenti nel suo lato di questo split però hanno poco in comune con quelli ascoltati nelle sue precedenti releases. Nonostante l’idea di Balan sia sostanzialmente quella di un black metal 'classicone,' qui si strizza l’occhio ai Beherit nei momenti meno convulsi, che ad essere sincero non sono tantissimi, quando invece c’è da cacciare il cazzo duro ecco che fanno capolino i Darkthrone dell’era recente, come nella seconda parte di 'King Leech.' Invece nell’ultima traccia, 'Twilight of the Idols,' ecco che ritornano riff e aperture in pieno stile Beherit.
Questo è uno split molto ben riuscito, di gran lunga migliore il lato di Botanist (che a mio avviso ha composto un paio dei momenti migliori della sua discografia), ma comunque Balan non compie una prestazione di tanto inferiore, ma forse sono io che preferisco di più l’ignoranza dei suoi lavori precedenti. (8.5/10)" -- Andrea Minucci, Begraven Mot Norr, November 24, 2013
Splits are a funny old thing. One side might be terrible, one side might be great, the other side completely overshadows the other, both sides might be awful, neither side makes any sense when put with the other or, in the case of this Botanist and Palace of Worms split, both sides might be complete polar opposites and yet somehow perfectly in sync at the same time. It’s some kind of magic.
The two artists behind this release have been in talks to do something together for a while (see our below interview with Otrebor of Botanist) and as such the themes and currents running through their tracks align and give us a deeper insight into the Bay Area’s black metal scene. While Botanist treads the unconventional path, Palace of Worms sidles along a more orthodox route but the two projects throw curiosities into their music – Botanist via those incredible dulcimer parts and Palace of Worms through gorgeous synths and uneasy clean vocals – and both move forward from their previous releases into new territories and sounds.
Botanist‘s last outing was the incredible IV: Mandrogora and moving past that record, the project takes on new angles and melds them into the sound that is unmistakably that of Botanist. The band has a instantly recognizable aura and its in the utilisation of unconventional instrumentation and a voice that cuts through the growing atmosphere that Botanist comes to life. Hammered dulcimer plays off drum beats and the mind behind it all, Otrebor, throws an odd vocal pitch over it all in order to bring first track 'Tillandsia' to deadly fruition. Driving push the song ever forward and it pulses with a heady sadness – quite a feat considering there’s no fancy guitar work – but the melodies are clear and Botanist is constantly evolving and changing as the music flows from this odd mind.
'Senecio' introduces an entirely new dimension to Botanist and the inclusion of harmonized, clean vocals as well as softly spoken sections is unnerving and unexpected. The otherworldly nature of the act comes through ever more clearly on this song, and it’s deeply unsettling at times as the eeriness of the music embeds in the brain and creates all manner of odd and curious visuals. It’s a trick that Botanist has always been able to pull off, and something that follows into the final song on their side – 'Trandescantia Pallida' – with slightly stepped back choral-like lines that segue into that spoken style and then switch back to the more “normal” tones that we are used to hearing from Botanist. The Hanging Gardens of Hell kicks with a strange, esoteric vibration that twists and turns and strives the reclamation of the natural world from the scourge of man.
Palace of Worms was last heard from around this time in 2012 with another split, that time with Mastery, and it’s evident that the intervening year has done much to build Palace of Worms sole member Balan into a formidable presence in the one-man-black-metal sphere. The three tracks we hear Ode To Joy are draped in orthodox black metal tones and more modern takes on the genre – from the keyboard strikes and vocal style on first track 'Ode to Joy (Hurrah, The End Draws Nigh)' that evokes Beherit in its opening moments, to the punk-driven drums and a guitar solo that sits in 'King Leech' and pays homage to latter Darkthrone material. Palace of Worms has many faces, and they are all showcased on these three new tracks.
'King Leech' is swathed in darkness and the track is certainly the most 'classic' sounding of the three. Rasped vocals sit in front of simple, buzzy guitar lines and heavy bass drum kicks before the whole style changes and morphs into an off-kilter, black and roll passage that’s surprisingly fun – unexpected, but defiant and strong.
'Twilight of the Idols (For R.B.)' writhes in Beherit-esque tones again yet brings black metal screaming into the modern era with electronic glitches and odd little passages of dissonance that swirl and clash in a maelstrom of contrasting sounds. This track sits well against the Botanist side of the split as it has the element of the strange at its core and Balan has dredged up a multitude of unusual offerings in order to drive the song into ever more reaching landscapes. Palace of Worms has many faces, and they are all showcased on these three new tracks and the inner workings of the mind that created them is laid bare for all to hear." -- Cheryl Prime, Cvlt Nation, November 19, 2013
"It's a Truffula seed. It's the last one of all!
USBM is clearly in its second act: This split features a pair of iconoclastic California-based one-man bands treading a very different path from the isolationist dinosaur footprints of Xasthur and Leviathan.
In the case of Botanist, the dense narrative -- crazed eco-terrorist seeks to return Earth to the plant kingdom -- tends to dominate the conversation, but Otrebor's advances extend beyond storytelling. Botanist is a black metal band in the ideological sense, but the compulsive arrangements -- flush with triumphant major chords, hints of musique concrète and, most importantly, the omnipresent sound of the hammered dulcimer -- actively resist that descriptor.
Still, Otrebor's best tracks still convey a palpable air of menace and impending doom: "Tillandsia" is a new weapon in Botanist's revolutionary army, a plant that requires no soil (to eradicate humankind).
Multi-instrumentalist Balan has recently traveled to the Verdant Realm in Botanist's first run of live performances, but his allegiances remain with his own one-man act, Palace of Worms. Balan's contributions to the six-song EP (the 'Ode to Joy' portion) are thoroughly dispiriting, a little longer in the tooth and more aggressively traditional in the style of, say, Beherit.
Balan is a terrific soloist and his guitar arpeggios lift 'Ode to Joy (Hurrah, the End Draws Nigh)' out of the shadows -- that's where the deft contrast between light/dark elements and the ties to the Botanist side of the split are most visible. But Palace of Worms soars on 'King Leech' with deeply guttural vocals to match the bent notes and lurching, seasick rhythm. It's seriously the shit; a whole LP in this style would be warmly received. (6/10)" -- Nick Green, Decibel #113, March, 2014
"Experimental black metal label the Flenser (based in San Francisco, CA) has several excellent choices in their recent release releases, including the limpid Work [sic] Ourobouros record, Come The Thaw, and Eight Bells' stunning The Captain's Daughter. Now, it adds this weird, warbling offering to the list; The Hanging Gardens of Hell / Ode to Joy, a split EP, is the product of a joint venture between two one-man black metal projects. Where Palace of Worms is a more traditional solo black metal effort, all searing vocals and squalid production, Botanist is far more esoteric, tapping into an eco-centric mythos and incorporating unusual instrumentation, like an abused dulcimer. The result is a tense, throbbing effort, with each half playing off the other in contrasting shades of anguish. The first three tracks, by Botanist, twist and ache, all swollen bass and verdant, trembling tones, longing for the destruction of civilization so nature can reclaim the world. Then, the trio of numbers contributed by Palace of Worms hunch and writhe, itchy and ugly, with a type of calcified hostility. The latter half is as oily and wretched as the first is poisonous and ripe. For those who prefer their black metal on the conceptual side, this is an excellent split to pick up. (8/10)" -- Natalie Zina Walschots, Exclaim.ca, November 4th, 2013
HONEST AT HEART
"There’s a lot to be said about musicians who are willing to blaze new trails, and do things that others might find to be conceptually adventurous, Botanist is one of those musicians. Incredibly abstruse, Botanist has a sound that just isn’t for everyone.
Opening with 'Tillandsia,' there’s a haunting beauty to the hammered dulcimer, an instrument seldom used in metal, but incredible when when used in application for experimental black metal. Introducing that sound into a somewhat standard black metal format (blast beats and muffled / strained vocals) creates a unique pairing that is unlike anything else. Continuing on through 'Senecio' and 'Trandescantia Pallida,' there are waves and spirals of gorgeous melodies that are trudged then trudged through a black metal assault. The last track, 'Trandescantia Pallida' is by far the masterpiece of their half of the split, delicately crafted yet preserves a certain rawness to it.
On the opposite side of the split, Palace of Worms had a much more straight forward sound, visceral and brooding, nasty and abrasive. This is what you think (or at least should think) when you hear the words black metal. From the opening of 'Ode to Joy' through the closing of 'Twilight of Idols,' it’s a relentless series of attacks. From a production angle, the Palace of Worms tracks are lightyears ahead of the (hopefully) intentional lo-fi basement tape sound of Botanist, making the split incredibly polarizing, which works to balance it out.
If you’re looking for something to sink your teeth into that provides something safe yet adventurous at the same time, check into this. (6.8/10)" -- Shane Matthew, Honest at Heart, November 15, 2013
MEAT MEAD METAL
"BOTANIST, PALACE OF WORMS TEAM UP FOR ONE OF THE YEAR’S MOST CAPTIVATING SPLIT ALBUMS
Two great forces that go great together might sound like a stupid candy tagline (or maybe even a lede I used before), but it totally works when it comes to discussing the brand new split effort from two of the world’s most bizarre, challenging outfits.
Both Palace of Worms and Botanist are one-man bands, weird ones that aren’t easy to get to know and feel comfortable in their respective presences. That’s one of the things that actually attracted me to each project initially, because I like to be challenged in my music listening, and these diametrically opposed groups offer that experience every single time. If you’re a regular reader of this site, no doubt you’ve heard me go on and on about each band, and having them represented in a new split release by way of The Flenser, the ideal home for both of these artists, seems only right.
Botanist’s mission has been well documented on this site, but if you’re new or in need of a refresher, then here goes. Botanist is a dulcimer-and-drum-style band led by Otrebor that focuses on The Botanist, a crazed man of science living in the Verdant Realm who has isolated himself from humanity and taken up living in the plant kingdom. Along with his leafy minions, he envisions and plans for the day when all of humanity is wiped out, and the plant kingdom can rule the earth again. That’s a rudimentary description, and I encourage you to check out Botanist’s site below for a fully comprehensive description of what’s going on and the various players in the Armageddon tale that has played out over his excellent four full-length records. It’ll keep you busy for hours.
Botanist’s portion of the split is called EP 1: The Hanging Gardens of Hell, and like a flower in full bloom, never has the music sounded this alive and full of color. Otrebor has managed to unearth great, full-seasoned melodies on these three cuts, and this project definitely has transcended black metal into something entirely its own. 'Tillandsia' is the first cut, and immediately you can hear how the music has developed, as the dulcimer is active and full of light, and the music takes on more of a gothy feel than ever before. The cuts halts for some sad silence and solitary hammering toward the end before it opens back to swallow everything. 'Senecio' has Azalea emerging again, acting as the whispery portions of the vocals as it gives messages to The Botanist. Elsewhere, the vocals are creaky and spooky, some clean singing emerges that is buried in coldness, and the conclusion provides some of the most intriguing compositional moments of Botanist’s run. 'Trandescantia Pallida' has a wintry feel to it, with clean chants and more creaky growling, and while the track has more delicate moments than anything else on here, there’s just as much fog and mystery afoot, enrapturing you in a haze of violence and treachery. Something about it chills the bones and makes me wonder if we’re not on the cusp on something terrifying with Botanist’s next chapter. Needless to say, I can’t wait to hear what happens next and just how it ends up sounding.
Palace of Worms is the project manned by Balan, who handles all of the instruments as well as vocals, and this band long has been one of the most full-bodied, fleshed-out representatives of the one-man movement. The songs are huge and full of sound, and while it’s black metal at its base, there are many other elements going on as well that helps it achieve that “experimental” title. But the music is crushing and violent wholly, so it’s not like you’re going to feel like you’re lost in some lab somewhere while a mad scientist tries to figure shit out. He knows what’s going on, has delivered heaping helpings of devastation on his two full-lengths The Forgotten and Lifting the Veil, as well as his split with Mastery.
On this effort, Palace of Worms’ three-track segment is called Ode to Joy, no doubt a tongue-in-cheek title from a man so engrossed in dark arts and likely not a nod to Beethoven, though I could be totally wrong there. In fact, 'Ode to Joy (Hurrah, the End Draws Nigh)' opens this bloody bastard, and his brand of melodic black metal twisted with morbid, sinister intent hits you like a clawhammer. There is a plenty of madness and furious blasts, yet with about two minutes remaining, the song rips over even further, with menacing growls and ill intent. 'King Leech' has a murky, mysterious opening that gives way to brutal, chewy riffs that feel like a combo of thrash and death. Eventually the song kicks into a tasty, punk-driven section that lets the fists fly anew, and blistering soloing, weeping keys, and hellish melodies carry the song out into its final resting place. Closer 'Twilight of the Idols (For R.B.)' has a mystical feel at first, almost as if it is trudging through the fog, but then the hammer drops and the true intent of this cut makes itself known. There is chunky riffing; bizarre, warped, effects-laden vocals; horrifying, strangling noise; and noises zapping all about as the track reaches its conclusion. Another breathtaking offering from Palace of Worms, a project that’s morphing and getting scarier by the day.
There probably are not two more fitting groups to put together on a split album than Palace of Worms and Botanist, so many cheers for all the forces responsible for bringing this one together. You get a nice sampling of what each artist does so well, if you’re new to both, or you get a deeper ride into their psyches if you’ve been with these bands all along. This is a great late-year gift that’s perfect for the rot and decay that inhabits this season, though if you’re Botanist, you probably see it as nature’s way or regenerating before it strikes back against humanity with fresh fists. Balan probably just sees it as a state that would more suit humankind itself." -- Brian Krasman, Meat Mead Metal, November 5, 2013
"The Flenser has released the fifth installment from the blackened eco-metal band Botanist, in the form of a split with another one-man black metal project, Palace of Worms. I wasn't familiar with Palace of Worms before this, so I wasn't sure how the split would work as a single album. Heck, who could share a record with Botanist and not sound out of place? But in spite of playing a (somewhat) more traditional black metal, the Palace of Worms songs work really well here. It probably doesn't hurt that Balan, the man behind Palace of Worms, has played in the live incarnation of Botanist, so they were already kindred spirits.
I've made no secret of my love for Botanist. Yes, this is a one-man black metal band by a percussionist who's chosen the hammered dulcimer as his primary melodic instrument, and his sole subject is a character called The Botanist, who would really prefer if plants retook this world from wasteful, destructive humans. It's a very singular project, but it works because of main-man Otrebor's sense of melody and songcraft. As with his previous releases, this one expands his sonic palette. The opening track of his side of the split, 'Tillandsia,' showcases a higher-pitched vocal rasp that contrasts with Otrebor's usual low croaks, and he takes it a step further with some clean singing in the second and third tracks. Botanist hasn't gone power metal, though. The cleans are chanted, and they're so low in the mix that they're more felt as atmosphere rather than heard. As with his previous releases, the delicate melodies remain at the forefront, and Otrebor makes great use of the hammered duclimer's ability to be both a percussion and a string instrument. The final track, 'Tradescantia Pallida,' starts with stately, piano-like chords under a single-note melody, then changing up to a descending line that sounds more like arpeggios played on a guitar. And of course, we get black metal biology in the lyrics, like 'Cut to shreds, it rises again / Birthing three-petaled spawn.'
The three Palace of Worms songs have a completely different sound, but I find it no less compelling. Balan's vocals are a more traditional black metal scream, but he largely forsakes tremolo-picked guitars and blast beats in favor of mid-paced, doomy riffs and rhythmically interesting percussion. There are a lot of great touches here: The are some creepy, spoken word vocals at the beginning of 'Ode to Joy (Hurrah, the End Draws Nigh),' along with suitably ominous electronic touches. 'King Leech' features some retro-sounding organ, and although 'Twilight of the Idols (for R.B.)' starts as a straight ahead black metal stomper with a slithery bass guitar, but it travels through several more melodic ideas and rhythms through the course of the song, including more chanted vocals and an off-kilter, galloping beat. It's some unique-sounding stuff, and it's definitely inspired me to check out more of Balan's work." -- Justin Collins, Metal Bandcamp, December 24, 2013
"I was torn between this one and IV: Mandragora, but as excellent as Mandragora is, I think this split edged it out. It's hard to imagine someone doing a cohesive split with the bizarre and beautiful Botanist, but one-man band Palace of Worms pulls it off. This is a split that sounds more like a whole album." -- Justin Collins Top 8 Albums of 2013 (no order), Metal Bandcamp, January 4, 2014
"So, this is an odd one. The bands represented here play an unusual and distinct take on black metal, in Botanist's case stretching the concept to its limit at times. Each is a one-man-band, too, interestingly, suggesting the person in particular (Palace of Worms' Balan and Botanist's, erm, The Botanist) are in full control of their vision, and fully able to implement it. Despite their different approaches, the two bands are complimentary to each other's style, melodic and progressive yet in very different ways...
Botanist kick off the split, and if the plant-obsessed songs weren't weird enough, the fact that the guitars and bass are replaced by a hammered dulcimer would be. This is a very different sort of environmental black metal, the horticultural interest oddly similar to Carcass' medical obsession in terms of lyrics and interest in long words. What's more, it strangely works as far as the sound itself, which is very rhythmic and melodic as you'd expect, The Botanist obviously a skilled drummer from the dynamic and varied drumming, but the dulcimer providing almost waves of sound in a very post-metal sort of way. Starting with Tillandsia, the songs are fast enough to be black metal, and the dulcimer notes make for an eerie atmosphere, but this very clearly ain't the black metal that burnt churches down. Senecio takes a slightly more rhythmic direction, focusing a little more on the drums and keeping the dulcimer as a vibrating background hum with some ghostly vocals, andTransdescantia Pallida initially uses it almost as a bell, its single-tone tolls ringing out over a captivating drumbeat, before making it almost a chiming wall of noise.
Palace of Worms seems much more traditionally black metal, using guitars and drums and so on, but there is some subtle experimentation going on. Opener Ode to Joy (Hurrah, the End Draws Nigh) is all gloomy guitar tone with synth plinks at first, opening up into a more typical depressive black metal dirge, but the off-kilter guitar shrieks and odd structure show that all is not normal. This is only built on in the following King Leech, which begins with a slow, solemn yet melodic guitar riff, almost an organ note rather than and a riff, and that could be mistaken for something from Botanist at first, before slowly becoming more recognisable, turning almost rocking in a doomy way at one point. Closer Twilight of the Idols (for R.B.) is probably the most traditional black metal piece present, scurrying sound effects giving it a weirdly effective atmosphere, and closing the split well.
Splits always make effective introductions to new bands, and this is no exception. Available as multiple sorts of vinyl and electronically from the Bandcamp link above, those with an interest in the weird fringes of black metal should give this a go for Botanist, while more traditionally-minded black metal folk will find Palace of Worms' sound promising. I'm certainly going to keep an eye on both, and explore their back catalogue..." -- Zadok, Metal Reviews, November 24, 2013
PURE POP ONLINE
BEST SPLIT ALBUMS OF 2013 (#2/5)
"Botanist has quickly become my new favorite band/one guy. I mean he plays a hammered dulcimer-drum kit and writes about orchestrating the downfall of humanity to clear the way for the ascendence of plants as the dominant life-form on the planet, what's not to like? Beyond the novelty though this is incredible and beautiful music. The Palace of Worms side is also solid, although not really going for the whole beauty thing, 'Play at maximum volume and in hatred.'" -- Henry Webb, Pure Pop Online, December 20, 2013
"US one-man acts Botanist and Palace Of Worms have both been making waves for a few years now with their distinctive takes on black metal, and EP1: The Hanging Gardens of Hell / Ode to Joy demonstrates exactly why that is. This is not black metal for those yearning for past glories and to whom anything not sounding like it came from Scandinavia in the mid-90s is 'untrue.' Rather, it is for those who see black metal existing just as much in spirit as it does in sound, and aren’t afraid to embrace something more adventurous and experimental, as well as challenging.
Botanist gets the record underway with his distinctive sound, courtesy of the hammered dulcimer being used in place of more traditional guitars and bass. For those unfamiliar with the instrument, it comes across here as sounding like a cross between guitar and piano, perfectly capturing the spirit of Botanist’sbrand of black metal very well. Though there are sections of music which are close to typical black metal, there are others, such as the frantic opening moments of first track 'Tillandsia,' which really push the concept of just what the genre can sound like. Other moments, a superb use of space and dynamics are displayed, with the hammered dulcimer playing cleaner, more open passages rather than being used to approximate more traditional riffs and leads. The drums are played well, with a mix of pure black metal blasting and less frantic, spacious tempos as the songs require. Along with the vocals, a mixture of clean chants, whispers, and more typical black metal croaks, Botanist roots the music in black metal while the hammered dulcimer really pushes at the boundaries of the genre. It’s a very unique style of music with almost no sensible stylistic comparisons, and it’s very strong. It would be easy to get drawn in to talking about the distinctive ethos and perspective behind Botanist, but the music more than speaks for itself.
Palace Of Worms seem almost orthodox in comparison, but that’s being highly unfair to them. Whilst the songs on its side of the split are rooted in classic black metal instruments and style, the overall sound created, whilst being undeniably black metal, is hard to pin down exactly. There are sections which bring to mind Drowning The Light, with heavy use of atmosphere and keyboards; at others, such as around the 4:50 mark of second song 'King Leech,' it sounds as close to thrash metal as it is to black. First track 'Ode To Joy (Hurrah, The End Is Near)' features a section of clean guitars reminiscent of 80′s goth. That’s without mentioning the Celtic Frost-isms and almost industrial keyboard effects during final track 'Twilight Of The Idols (for R.B.),' nor the variety of vocal styles used throughout these tracks. As should be clear, Palace Of Worms draws inspiration from far more than the usual sources for black metal, and as a result its songs are varied, distinctive, yet still firmly within the ethos and sound of black metal. The band could easily have ended up as a confused mess, but instead it comes together strongly to be greater than the sum of its parts. All in all, a superb split by two very distinctive, creative bands." -- Stuart W., Summoning Spirits, February 8, 2014