Ringworm – Hammer Of The Witch (2014)

Ringworm - Hammer Of The Witch

Jesus fucking Christ, Ringworm are certainly pissed off and it shows. Ringworm’s recent slab of thrash/hardcore (not in a crossover thrash sense) has to be one of the most aggressive releases I’ve heard recently.

Everything about this album oozes a level of subtlety similar to a body builder bashing you face to a pulp with a house brick; it’s relentless, it’s crushing and my fucking Christ is it good. The opening track starts out with a bit of a slow death introduction before crushing you with one of the album’s mid-paced songs and the album the pounds you for one song to the next over the 40 minute track length. Musically Ringworm combine guitar riffs similar to Slayer passing through groove central, along with thrash solos and heavy hardcore elements, an absolutely hammering drum and bass combination and some extremely vicious and sheer rage filtered vocals that are shouted over the top of the music. The riffs switch between chug heavy hardcore elements and intense thrash riffs and you’ll find yourself headbanging along like the riffs themselves are grabbing your hair and yanking your head, while the drums incite some pretty mosh worthy beats and the bass chugs along threatening to beat you within an inch of your life. Not too mentioned that the tone on both the guitars and the bass are just so bloody well suited for this hardcore/thrash combination and churn out the right level of aggression and sheer weight (guitar and bass respectively) that the riffing elements are amplified to be that much more devastating.

The songs are mostly mid-paced but flirt between slow, crushing sections and intense, thrashy fast sections, which are both placed perfectly around the album to make all three paces effective and brutal. This is one of the positives of the song writing, so much so that the 40 minutes of relentless aggression don’t stay past their welcome (seeing as most hyper-aggressive albums stick to around the 30 minute mark) without losing out on the hefty impact that the aggression on the album gives off; the album is one dimensional but is aggressive and interesting enough to keep a listener’s interest. There’s no inherent issues with the production quality either, as mentioned above all the instruments are audible and seem to sit just right in the mix in order for them to do what they need to do, and do it bloody well. To top it all off, Ringworm have not just created a 40 minute devastator but have also managed to keep out all of the douche-bro elements that both thrash and hardcore punk are prone to having, which is just fucking excellent.

This album is highly recommended for anyone looking for the intersecting point between thrash metal and hardcore punk that leaves you aching, sore and reading to go another round in the pit with the most aggression and intensity that both genres have to offer.



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