Worm Shepherd
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Worm Shepherd

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2020 | MAJOR

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2020
Band Metal Black Metal




"METAL INJECTION - Album Review: WORM SHEPHERD Ritual Hymns"

Blackened deathcore is more recognized and accepted than ever, as new bands jump into the fray armed with spooky riffs, symphonic melodrama and crushing breakdowns… and very disturbing vocals. Speaking of vocals, they were the best and worst thing about Worm Shepherd's debut In the Wake Ov Sòl. There's a lot to love about Devin Duarte's over-the-top delivery, from goblin-esque shrieks to vomitorial lows, but in some places he pushed the boundaries past the realm of articulation. In this regard, Ritual Hymns offer more tasteful execution. Duarte's vocals have more distinction in their viciousness, as does the instrumentationThe blackened side of Worm Shepherd has more in common with Dimmu Borgir than Darkthrone. Luckily, these guys avoid getting too campy with their neo-classical embellishments, as heard in the enormous buildup of opening title track. What's even more impressive is how naturally the song transitions from a harrowing shred-fest to a gut-busting breakdown. These guys aren't about to let Lorna Shore end the blackened deathcore arms race. Still, look no further than the groovy bass line that precedes the overwhelming wall of sound of "Ov Sword and Nail" to see how Worm Shepherd have honed their craft. There's even some nasty tech-death riffage to balance out the customary bottomless pit of guttural debauchery. Worm Shepherd doesn't hide how clean their sound is, especially by black metal standards. After all, the down-tuned devastation that closes out both "Chalice Ov Rebirth" and "The River Ov Knives" wouldn't hit right without the 808 drops and gated snare hits. The former's downtempo style (that is, multiple seconds between notes and eerie soundscapes) and the latter's lopsided slams certainly hit hard when it counts, but the non-breakdown passages have a bit more disparity of outcome. "Chalice" works out swimmingly when Worm Shepherd switches to grandiose synth arpeggios to nimble At The Gates-ish riffs, but it's hard not to imagine how the gloomy death doom vibes of "River" would sound with a more earthy, rustic sound. Regardless, the song's addition of forlorn melodic singing deepens the song's atmosphere, and the band's musicality as a whole. Indeed, surgically precise blast beats don't hinder the impact of mid-tempo Dissection vibes of "The Ravens Keep," a track that also sees the vocals become a little less punishing to fit the more straightforward vibeWhere the ridiculous extremities of In the Wake Ov Sòl sometimes overstayed their welcome, a cut like “Wilted Moon” waits for the perfect moment to overturn the song into ultra-heavy madness. Said ridiculous extremities become a complementary facet of what’s essentially a symphonic black metal track with a tech-death rhythm section. Worm Shepherd’s artful genre combinations help keep longer cuts like “Blood Kingdom” interesting, as it leans heavily on death metal axioms—whether that’s acrobatic fretwork and machine gun drumming or bone-snapping beatdowns. A lot of it surprisingly harks back to deathcore as it existed before the Myspace takeover, with black metal manifesting more through evil atmosphere, bombastic dynamics and witchy high screams than an overt musical signature. At the very least, it normalizes starting “A Bird in the Dusk” with mournful keys and rainstorm field recordings.In a genre often plagued with killing time before the breakdown, Worm Shepherd packs these more involved songs with memorable, lethal ideas. Knowing when to hold onto a tremolo-picked note, when to let synths handle melody, or when to let lose a terrifying rasp before the mosh part… that’s what brings Ritual Hymns to the forefront of the blackened deathcore movement.Worm Shepherd certainly takes a more seamless approach, but the band plays up stylistic contrast on the closing cut “Winter Sun.” It starts with precision double bass/guitar bursts, and ends with a low-and-slow chug-fest, but both passages come with support from synths more suited for a Satyricon interlude. In the same way, gravity blasts find a home within catchy tremolo riffs, and a triumphant lead even finds a foothold in the sonic fray. There's so much going on, but never without a motif to lead from beginning to end. While it still technically falls under the blackened deathcore umbrella, Ritual Hymns finds Worm Shepherd proving how versatile this micro-genre can be. It's more than tunnel throat vocals, dissonant riffs and stupidly heavy breakdowns. Sure, all of that manifests on this record, alongside a more holistic display of musical chops. It plays more like a unique take on extreme metal, untethered by what’s okay or not. For a newer underground uprising, Worm Shepherd’s approach represents a definite step in the right direction." - METAL INJECTION

"Distorted Sound Magazine - ALBUM REVIEW: Ritual Hymns – Worm Shepherd"

"WORM SHEPHERD came hurtling onto the scene in 2020 and haven’t taken their foot off the pedal since. It is little wonder how they have amassed such an adoring following in such a short stretch of time, and they are hoping to build on the foundations built by their fantastic debut album In The Wake Ov Sòl with the much-anticipated release of Ritual Hymns this January 14th via Unique Leader Records. Prepare the first aid kit as your ears are about to take a beating. Ritual Hymns provides an intoxicating blend of orchestration and fearsome heaviness as fascinating melodies lock horns with aggressive vocal passages. The further down the rabbit hole we go the more chaos begins to unfold. Ebbing and flowing transitions keep you on your toes. Ov Sword And Nail kicks off with thunderous bass lines that usher in a wave of crushing blast beats. The abrupt tempo shifts have your head in a spin as the diverse, blood-curdling vocal work adds an additional level of violence to the mix. The Ravens Keep takes an entirely different direction with calming, clean tones and haunting singing. Don’t get too acclimated as the ferocity soon resumes. Enticing grooves will have your head banging as the symphonic instrumentation meanders in the backgroundChalice Ov Rebirth keeps proceedings firing on all cylinders with further relentless intensity. Guttural bellows send shivers down your spine. Galloping riffs combine with precise drumming to forge a match made in hell. Monstrous breakdowns come thick and fast with no sign of a reprieve. Blood Kingdom won’t offer you such a request either. Impressive guitar work snatches the spotlight, linking up with exhilarating symphonic elements to devastating effect. The hammering drum beats are enough to leave your brain rattling around in your skull. Wilted Moon follows in similar stunning fashion, assaulting your senses with zero remorse. Caustic screams alongside alluring melodies really hit that sweet spot. The tranquil rain and soothing piano tones assist in helping you catch your breath for a brief moment before A Bird In The Dusk insists on inflicting further damage. The dramatic, incendiary pace refuses to budge an inch. The River Ov Knives is just as perilous as its title would suggest, packed full of deadly obstacles for you to navigate. Demonic growls, potent orchestration and devilishly down-tuned guitar segments form a formidable wall of sound. Winter Sun goes all guns blazing with no intention of allowing this release to depart quietly. Rapid riff work and scintillating drum sequences create a frenzy of carnage that will leave you gasping for air. WORM SHEPHERD have left no stone unturned on this effort, bombarding you with volleys of stunning instrumentation that are a pure marvel to experience. Ritual Hymns is crammed to the brim with breath-taking musicianship and the accompanying orchestration further amplifies the brutality on show. 2021 set the benchmark but 2022 is certainly holding it’s own thus far!

Rating: 9/10" - Distorted Sound Magazine

"Everything Is Noise - Worm Shepherd – “Ritual Hymns”"

With their sophomore release Ritual Hymns, Worm Shepherd achieve further refinement and maturation with their mix of symphonic deathcore and atmospheric black metal.Deathcore is fragmenting into further and further subdivisions. From its raw, breakdown-driven roots, it has grown with branches combining various outside influences, from pop, hip-hop, and r’n’b to EDM and orchestras. One particularly successful strain of the genre is what I’ll call ‘blackened/symphonic deathcore’. There have been a number of recent and impressive releases in that vein from established acts like Lorna Shore, Mental Cruelty, Shadow of Intent, and Humanity’s Last Breath. However, a band in that subgenre that caught my attention in 2021 was Worm Shepherd with their debut release In the Wake Ov Sòl.
Blending technicality, strings, slam, blast beats, and varied vocal performances, I was impressed by the band’s atmospheric compositions and polished sound. As such, I was very excited when Worm Shepherd signed to Unique Leader Records and announced that their sophomore album would arrive only a year later. Ritual Hymns, the band’s second full-length, drops January 14. I am happy to report that if you enjoyed In the Wake Ov Sòl, you have much to enjoy here, but with a more mature and varied approach. The album starts with its title track and a not-unexpected but well-executed symphonic introduction alongside a marching snare. The strings first introduce the defined, hooky melodic lines that are later revisited and interpreted throughout the song. The arrangement further evolves through a mix of deathcore bellows and blackened shrieks, pounding double bass, tremolo leads, and crunching rhythms. “Ritual Hymns” is an epic opening statement from Worm Shepherd, but hardly the record’s high point.At least in my opinion, the track with that honor is “The Ravens Keep”. It opens with baritone singing and sparse clean guitars, immediately catching my ear with a more melodic approach than is employed through most of the album. The song unfolds with a relatively straightforward but hook-heavy and groove-oriented riff. Alongside various symphonic elements and blast beats, there is an enjoyable amount of variety in the five-and-a-half-minute track. An exceptionally long fadeout on the track is not necessarily a production choice I would have employed. Still, the moments that precede it are more than excellent enough to make up for it.Worm Shepherd excel most when they focus on unique arrangements and streamlined, melodic and hooky segments to provide some anchors for the listener amidst the record’s metallic maelstrom. “Ov Sword and Nail” features the oft-maligned bass guitar in a substantial role, immediately making it memorable. Elsewhere, like on “Chalice Ov Rebirth” and closer “Winter Sun”, melodic metalcore-esque riffage provide an energetic and technically engaging core to the tracks. “The River Ov Knives” again sparsely uses haunting clean vocals to dramatic effect.
With so many bands capitalizing on the new surge of blackened and symphonic deathcore, it says a lot about an act if it can define itself and stand out from their peers. Worm Shepherd does not reinvent the wheel on Ritual Hymns, but they prove themselves more than capable using the tropes and tools of the subgenre. Specifically, their use of singing, melodic and memorable riffs, slam segments, and a comparably refined, streamlined approach to technicality all establish the group as a burgeoning group to follow." - Everything Is Noise

"Revolver Magazine - 5 ARTISTS YOU NEED TO KNOW: FEBRUARY 2022"

"RIYL Carnifex, Cradle of Filth, Lorna Shore
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Black metal is having a real moment in deathcore right now, and Worm Shepherd are one of the genre's leading fusionists. On their pair of beautifully decimating albums, 2021's In the Wake Ov Sòl and 2022's Ritual Hymns, the band — fronted by the vocally acrobatic Devin Duarte — drape their blast beats and breakdowns with elegantly mournful strings that evoke the evil theatricality of symphonic corpse-paint enthusiasts like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir.
QUOTE "[Deathcore and black metal] are the darkest things to explore musically, in my opinion," Duarte says. "To add destructive breakdowns to a song with beautiful melodies and riffs that feel like you're burning makes for a gorgeous, complete package." Borrowing its theme from the video game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Ritual Hymns was all about venturing into the expanse. "The focal point was guitar and orchestration," the singer explains. "How epic can these songs feel and how can we make the darkest atmospheres come to life?" - revolvermag.com


"If black metal's increasing impact on deathcore wasn't already obvious, then Worm Shepherd frontman Devin Duarte literally wearing corpse paint in the video for "Accursed" has cemented its grasp on the zeitgeist. In the case of this Massachusets band, who only formed in 2020 and have already released two albums, the symphonic black-metal thumbprint of Dimmu Borgir and Emperor might even be more present in their sound than the deathcore of forefathers like Whitechapel and Despised Icon. Duarte's delightfully muddled brees throw it back to the Myspace days, but his pained highs evoke way more tortured emotion than the average deathcore shrieker can muster." - revolvermag.com

"Review: Worm Shepherd “In The Wake Ov Sòl”"

We begin here in instrumental that converges into the heavy bringing on a haunting feeling and depressive overtones that continues thrusting the blades deeper into your soul as one ingests this masterpiece of a debut album from newcomers Worm Shepherd and it just never stops killing.

Periods of Intense Black Metal infused with technical Death Metal and Slam. Keyboards are used along with harmonies. Not much is missing here. A lot of effort went into crafting each and every song. I love the heavy drops that just slam you like a ton of bricks. Ultra heaviness and groove are sectioned into the songs perfectly even further setting the mood. Awesome use of the dark guitar notes on this skull fracturing debut album. Other than great writing and skill presented by the guitar and Bass we have amazing drummer on this. Nothing here is over done. His drum fills and rolls are perfectly placed. It’s obvious the drummer can grind and blast all night but saves it for when the beat is warranted. Once you hear these heavy slams you will be as hooked as I am. This band can hold its own against any of the most popular and talented from both the Black Metal and the Death Metal scenes.

The track “Ragnarok” further in again begins with such crazy and over the top guitar riffs that swiftly drops into Hell and then crawls back out.

Later on the track “The Emptiness Between Stars” is so depressing yet wonderful. This band has managed to skillfully combine styles here.

One major stand out most evident is the vocals.

Man, I really have to say this vocalist is hands down the best I have heard in a long time. His lows are some of the sickest I have heard. The only band I can think of that would give you any idea is a sign of the swarm and maybe at times Dimmu Borgir. It has a lot of the great keyboard elements one would expect from a Dimmu Borgir and possibly Cradle of Filth. The different variations of vocal tones here moving effortlessly from one state to another is completely mind blowing. Artwork is great, recording is top of the line and musicianship is well above average. I fully expect this band to become something great. If you enjoy some of the most guttural vocals around and sickest demon death scene style Black Metal voices straight out of The Evil Dead Movie you ever have heard placed effortlessly into ultra heavy and brutally fast and Technical Metal band I Absolutely cannot recommend In The Wake OV Sol enough. So dark and evil, so damn heavy with sinister melody. This is so damn good… great song intros as well making this even more interesting. - ANTICHRIST Magazine

"Worm Shepherd // In the Wake of Sol"

Even though this album came out at the end of 2020, I’m going to act like it came out this year because I’m pretty stoked about it and I think it deserves a spot somewhere on an end of the year list. It’s still early but Worm Shepherd has set a high bar.

This album pushes the boundaries of deathcore in a lot of the same ways that Lorna Shore’s did last year. Despite the extreme heaviness, there is still a surprising amount of melody sprinkled in. The main difference between this and Lorna Shore is that Lorna Shore focused more on epic symphonic elements, while Worm Shepherd incorporates those elements more sparingly, choosing to focus on a more extreme sound.

After one listen, it is clear that Devin Duarte has made a compelling case that he is an elite deathcore vocalist. Devin’s mid screams sound like Shrine of Malice’s, they’re so forceful and clear. His highs also go perfectly with the frantic black metal sections. But most impressively, his low screams are ridiculously heavy. He’s like a garbage disposal gurgling over the breakdowns.

One highlight is Alex Koehler’s feature on “Accursed”, it’s awesome hearing him scream again. “Wretchedness Upon The Gates” also features David Simonich, the New Signs of the Swarm vocalist, and it’s kind of interesting how closely tied a lot of the top deathcore vocalists are right now. Alex Koehler left Chelsea Grin and was replaced by Tom Barber. Tom left Lorna Shore and was replaced by CJ McCreery. CJ left Signs of The Swarm and was replaced by David Simonich. And Devin Duarte sounds like a combination of them all.

One of my favorite moments on the album is the end of “Wretchedness Upon The Gates”. The super heavy vocals have a really cool interaction with the grooves. - Pecks Metal Picks


"Ritual Hymns" Released on Unique Leader Records on January 14th, 2022.

"In The Wake Ov Sol (Deluxe)" Released on Unique Leader Records on June 4th, 2021. 

"In The Wake Ov Sol" Released independently on December 25th, 2020.



Worm Shepherd is a Blackened Deathcore band
from the US.  The band consists of Vocalist Devin Duarte, Guitarists
Brandon Cooper and Tre' Perdue and Drummer Leo Worrell

January 2020, Worm Shepherd began the process of writing
material.  By the end of September, with the help of Aaron Chaparian of Iron Audio, Worm
Shepherd’s debut album “In the Wake Ov Sol” was written and recorded with all
mixing and mastering for also done by Aaron.  December 25, 2020, Worm
Shepherd released their debut album “In the Wake Ov Sol”.

On March 25th, 2021 Worm Shepherd officially announced their
signing to Unique Leader Records.

On July 22nd, 2021 Worm Shepherd released the first single off of their second album titled "Ov Sword and Nail" Followed by the release of the self titled track and announcement of their second album  "Ritual Hymns" October 13th, 2021. Three others singles would follow before releasing the full album January 14th, 2022.

Worm Shepherd is proudly Endorsed by: Hromfell Guitars, SIT Strings, Soultone Cymbals, Black Altr Apparel.

Worm Shepherd has worked with:  Aaron Chaparian of Iron
Audio, Austin Archey of Lorna Shore, Jake Clark of Interloper Designs, Ian
Urquhart, David Simonich of Signs of the Swarm, Alex Koehler (ex-Chelsea Grin),
Adam Mercer or A Wake in Providence, Caelan Stokkermans of Caelan Stokkermans
Arts, Cody Stewart of The Browning and Flip A Switch Studios, Scott Ian Lewis of Carnifex.

Band Members