Starting off on a very limited run of just 500 copies, Self Spiller have evidently decided that Worms in the Keys (Varia) should not stay restricted from the world any longer and reissued the LP. The project led by Jason Walton of Agalloch, alongside fellow band member Don Anderson, is an ambitious piece comprising of 14 members from across the globe. Most of the contributors can boast some serious history, with Sigh’s Dr. Mikannibal and Mirai Kawashima, the latter also playing for US based Necrophagia part of the fold. All this comes together to form an unusual; unique; almost indescribable sound that virtually defies categorisation.
Comprising of layer upon layers of different pieces, the album takes capsules of previous work spanning 6 years from the artists, brought together by Walton and layered into an avant-garde culmination of sound. Rather than feeling fractured and disconnected however, the many different pieces of music have been arranged in a way that seems to make sense together (well, sort of). The result? A surprisingly enjoyable piece, although not altogether flowing. Numerous voice layers backed with distorted guitars break suddenly into classical piano or a jazzy saxophone sections. If you were hoping the vocals might provide some form of story to tie it all together, think again. The snippets make a disturbing and broken narrative that is virtually impossible to piece together into a fully formed entity.
Worms in the Keys is brave and bold project that has been executed with extreme skill to form what is an oddly enjoyable album that is hard to turn off. Do I remember any of the songs? Well, no. Snippets stand out but it’s often hard to grasp whole tracks even while listening to the album. It really is a piece that demands either your full attention or nothing at all. Those that do take the time to give this album a try will find a record that it has bridged avant-garde madness while remaining fun. It may not be the most memorable of pieces as a whole, but it is refreshingly engaging as it challenges everything you thought you understood about modern music.
“In 1993 I saw Cathedral open for Mercyful Fate in Minneapolis, shortly after the release of their brilliant The Ethereal Mirroralbum. I was a massive Cathedral fan. Years earlier, in high school, I hand painted their logo on the back of a jacket and wore it daily. I painted the lyrics to ‘Serpent Eve’ down the sleeve of the jacket. Like I said I was a massive fan. Of course I wore this jacket to the gig.
As I walked in the venue, I noticed Lee Dorian hanging around in front. I approached him, showed him the jacket and he agreed to autograph it. We talked nearly for an hour about Cathedral, Napalm Death, about my loves and aspirations, and about the differences between America and the UK.
After Lee left to prepare I walked around the venue and saw Phil Anselmo at the bar. I had no idea why he was there and became even more confused when I realized he was talking with Igor and Max Cavalera of Sepultura. A few months previous to this show I had moved from small town Montana to Minneapolis and this was all quite a shock. I was 18, in the city for the first time and it was also one of my first metal concerts. I was star struck and enthralled.
I then approached Igor and he told me about the album they were releasing soon called Chaos A.D.I was truly amazed at how nice Igor and Lee were and at how honest and open our conversations were as well.
Cathedral played an amazing set and dedicated ‘Soul Sacrifice’ and ‘Ebony Tears’ to me. The overwhelming kindness shown by the bands solidified even further my love for the genre and influenced how I treat fans today.”
Best known for his work as the bassist of Agalloch, Jason Walton’sSelf-Spillerproject has just seen a reissue of his ambitious Worms in the Keys album on vinyl from Varia Records. Catch Jason on tour with Agalloch all summer.
Experimental metallers Self Spiller will reissue their full length album Worms In the Keys on vinyl on May 5, 2015 via Varia Records. Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies worldwide, each copy will be unique and come with handmade artifacts. No two copies will be alike.
The band is led by Agalloch bassist Jason Walton and features a vast range of musicians participating on this release:
Jason Walton (Agalloch, Sculptured, Celestiial) Don Anderson (Agalloch, Sculptured) Nick Loiacano (Climb To Zalem, El Rey) Rob Kleiner (Tub Ring, Super 8 Bit Brothers) Yamo (Patisserie) Kuro (Patisserie) Marius Sjoli(Formloff, Hollow Branches, Blekspetl) Svein Egil Hatlevik (Fleurety, Dodheimsgard, Zweizz) Robert Osgood (Hollow Branches) Food Fortunata (Sockeye, Fossil Fuel) Andy Winter (Winds, Age Of Silence) Mirai Kawashima (Sigh, Necrophagia) Dr. Mikannibal (Sigh) Bernt Karsten Sannerud (Formloff) Brock Bousfield (Nero’s Day At Disneyland, Strip Mall Seizures)
Worms In The Keys Track Listing:
01: The Event
02: Folds Of Skin To Lay
03: Like Three Asps
04: Therefore I Worship
05: Rot On Root
06: I Spit In The Stomach Of Zombies
08: Strong But Damaged