Worm played their first-ever show at Saint Vitus – 4/13

The mysterious Florida metal project made its live debut on a packed Thursday night at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus, with support from The Silver and Exsanguinated.

I’ve been fully on board the Worm train since my first listen of 2021’s Foreverglade, a monolith of swampy death-doom enshrouded in atmosphere as all-consuming as deep south humidity. Last year’s Bluenothing EP upped the ante further, welcoming some prog-y, symphonic touches into the Worm-verse and hinting at yet-further ambitious things to come. It’s one of those heavy projects, like Blood Incantation’s interstellar atmo-death, that just ticks all the right boxes for me.

Worm have essentially been a one-man band for much of their existence, masterminded by an individual known as Phantom Slaughter (naturally) and never performing in public. Upon the announcement that they finally planned to change that with a Saint Vitus show and a set at Philly’s Decibel Metal and Beer Fest this month, the Brooklyn trek was a no-brainer.

The night was unsurprisingly a quick sell-out and support wasn’t added ’til much closer to the show, but I was pleased to hear that The Silver had hopped on the bill alongside Long Island’s Exsanguinated. An offshoot of both death metal maniacs Horrendous and epic doomsayers Crypt Sermon, The Silver delivered a satisfying set of their gothic, blackened post-metal with a fanciful flair. I was a fan of their 2021 debut Ward of Roses, and so they were both a pleasant surprise addition and a great match for the bill. That’s especially taking into consideration a balancing of the scales of heaviness with Exsanguinated’s sledgehammer-strength pummeling opening the night (which is no slight on the Long Island death metal crew, who I also dug; we all need a good pummeling from time to time).

Following a brief bit of stage setting (in the form of a small pew and a makeshift altar), the five-piece live incarnation of Worm took the stage amid swirling blue smoke and drove straight into Foreverglade’s “Murk Above the Dark Moor.” Hooded, spike-wielding and lightly corpse-painted, their presentation hearkened back to the project’s more traditional black metal roots, but the quintet kept things contemporary with five cuts from their past three years’ output. It wasn’t a long set, but packed plenty of punch. The songs really came to life in unearthly fashion with a full band, and the whole production was capped off with the theatrical touches of a lifelike (?) skull, goblet of fake (?) blood and a sword-brandishing faux (?) sacrifice.

This show and the following night in PA were the only two live rituals on the Worm calendar as of press time, but one figures they’ll have something more up their collective sleeve in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, scroll down for photos from all three sets at last week’s gig.