WVRM – Colony Collapse (Prosthetic Records)

Searing, nuclear powered grindcore carrying fistfuls of working class grit… yep, Colony Collapse is total, bloody carnage, akin to the unhinged aural mayhem of Phobia.

WVRM, like Cloud Rat or Wormrot, take grind’s 80s era fuel rods and hurl them into a fission reactor, with scant regard for the devastation that ensues.

The South Carolina act’s first album for Prosthetic sees them step a little outside the underground scene (2014’s Swarm Sound and 2016’s Heartache were both independently released) yet retain the rabid ferocity that has become their hallmark: the production has beefed up for songs like Tank Reaper and Shining Path, but the violent squalls of feedback and wild tempo twists (check out Anti-Democracy/Locust Breath for starters) are still there in abundance.

Furious Movement/The Burning Tower is so crusty you can practically taste the sick and sweat, My Fucking Dixie (The New South) bleeds discordant, acidic sludge, the title track is a disturbing trip into lurching, squealing noise and War Promise/Secessionville flays around with Nasum-like ferocity. There’s precious room to catch your breath before another eruption hurls you straight through the nearest wall.

OK, so Colony Collapse may not boast the kind of addictive, razor sharp riffs that would make it a bonafide grind classic, but the album’s emotional intensity and sonic diversity make it enthralling nonetheless.

WVRM have stepped up here – and they’ve made every second count.