Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Album Review: Ringworm- Hammer of the Witch

Hammer of the Witch
**** out of *****
The longtime Cleveland, OH hardcore band Ringworm have just put out their first release for Relapse Records titled Hammer of the Witch (their six full length release overall) and this shit slams hard. Beautifully recorded and produced the energized group crunches through 13 aggressive numbers, showcasing slashing six strings and a pummeling double bass drum attack.

Tracks are quick but still cover loads of terrain; things never drag and nothing feels repetitive which is a trick in itself when dealing with this field. The band seems to be at peak level for the entirety of the disk. Things can be melodic as in "Pyshcic Vampires" with its fast tempo and sing-along ready chorus or the band can go straight up raw like on the direct "I Recommend Amputation".

The title track is speed metal with breakdowns sprinkled lightly in, a great mix of fast-tempo/groove while "King Of Blood" goes creepy lyrically but the dueling guitar runs are mystical as the track scampers up and down the fret board. "Leave Your Skin At The Door" begins with a sludge driven bass intro before things explode all over in multiple directions including two searingly fast guitar solos.

The group rises above paint by number hardcore acts with intricate songwriting but never trade power for cock-rock showmanship. Sure the music is brutal as all hell, but there are glorious moments contained with-in leaving these elder statesmen of metal/hardcore with one of the most successful heavy albums to come out so far in 2014. 
I haven't thought about Ringworm in over 20 years if not 25. I had The Promise on cassette and I am pretty sure that is it. That doesn't matter though, this disk kicks real ass.

Support the band here, buy the disk here, stream it here, peep some video below:

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