Although Ringworm have never been a constant fixture on the Hardcore metal scene, they’ve been battering ear drums with their relentless visceral barrage for well over two decades now. They return in 2014 with ‘Hammer of the Witch’ and they’re still operating at optimum fighting weight. There’s no sign of the pipe and slippers in the Ringworm camp just yet.
The undeniable force behind the Cleveland quintet is the furious vocal barrage of Human Furnace. With a moniker like that, you wouldn’t be expecting anything else really, but the forcefulness of his bark drives the album forward throughout. The dirty riffs on tracks such as ‘Dawn Of Decay’ and ‘Psychic Vampire’ only add to the hopelessness contained within this bitter wreck of an album. The whole album clatters along like an inevitable but gripping car crash.
The grinding riffs and thrash-rooted soaring guitars whip up a frenzy that only adds to the chaos already stirred up in Mr Furnace’s anger. ‘Hammer of the Witch’ literally hammers away at you until the end. There’s no let up, no time to catch your breath just a continuous river of brutal hatred engulfing your ears.
It is a thing of beauty.
Add to this some pretty spectacular artwork, which will no doubt look stunning on the vinyl versions of ‘Hammer of the Witch’, and you have yourself some must-hear hardcore for the season.