Iowa City, IA’s DRYAD have today shared their new single, Pompeii Worm, and an accompanying visualizer. Pompeii Worm is the third and final pre-release track to be taken from DRYAD’s forthcoming debut album, The Abyssal Plain, due out via Prosthetic Records on January 20. The track is an allegorical tale of the alvinella pompejana species of deep sea worms survival methods within it’s hostile climate and that of human persistence.
Speaking on the single, DRYAD comments: "With our third single from The Abyssal Plain, we dive even further into the murky depths of both the ocean and the mind. Pompeii Worm is a sordid tale of extremophile beings surviving, and even thriving, in a place where no life should be able to exist. It's an incisive allegory of persistence and intention in a dark ocean of hopelessness and melancholy.
"The worm itself survives on the precipice of the hydrothermal vents in the deepest fathoms of the ocean, being constantly boiled alive - yet it has evolved to remain not only unscathed, but nurtured by the torrid waters themselves. An inexplicable sign of life in the vast and hellish gloom - a miraculous creature of the stygian depths, too weird to live and too rare to die."
DRYAD's take on black metal is as abrasive and primeval as you would hope from a band that draws their biggest lyrical influences from the furthest reaches of the ocean floor, far from even the weakest tendrils of sunlight. Their stygian take on the genre is chaotic and suitably lo-fi, but on The Abyssal Plain, the oppressive cacophony is punctuated with synth-heavy interludes heavily inspired by 80s horror movie soundtracks (think John Carpenter and Dario Argento).
The activity of the intricate ecosystems 10,000 feet below the surface of the ocean provides an abundance of material for lyrical horror stories of near-unbelievable monsters and mind-bending geological features, but DRYAD are keen to stress the environmental message woven throughout their music (the band itself is named after the mythological spirit and protector of the forests). Ocean environments are continuously being polluted and exploited for supposed human gain, and the despair and fury this elicits is palpable in the visceral sound of the band.
The real-life horrors that lurk on the deepest parts of the seafloor also serve as a metaphor for the tenebrose depths of depression and psychological struggle, reflecting a place where it is impossible for light to penetrate. And yet, even in those deepest, darkest depths, incredible creatures not only exist, but thrive - some even creating their own light - in seemingly the most inhospitable of environments. So, whilst this album is very much about the depths of the ocean and the alien creatures of the abyssal plains that lie at the bottom of our seemingly mundane Earth, it is also about feeling alone in the darkness and still creating your own light. Being able to manufacture hope in a seemingly hopeless place - both for oneself and for the future of the planet.
The Abyssal Plain was recorded in the band’s home state of Iowa by Luke Tweedy, mixed and produced by Jaxon Vesely, and co-produced by DRYAD’s Claire Nunez, before being mastered by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone. On their debut album, DRYAD have crafted a syntheses of sound - forged from foundations that are part horror story, part rallying cry.