Overall Score: 9/10 Lyrics: 7/10 Sound: 9/10 Impression: 9/10 Pros: No filler | Killer Riffs | Really heavy Cons: Too short? | Nothing
Note: Dirge will be released for purchase on 23rd May 2011, however, due to the widespread leak on the internet, Earache decided to release the album for download early
There can often be a problem with grindcore, and that problem is that after a while it all starts to sound the same, or that, often, grind albums outstay their welcome. It delights me to say that Dirge suffers no such problems. When Abuse got given a wider release by Earache last year, although I enjoyed it, it was only really the longer tracks that caught my attention, as generally those tracks were the ones with the better riffs. The most obvious improvement from Dirge is that Wormrot have utterly honed the art of writing a 30 second song. The musicianship here is ridiculously tight, and the riffs are blisteringly fast, yet Wormrot clearly know how to keep the album fresh. Throughout Dirge, there are slower (not slow) riffs that break up the brutal assault. Although this may sound negative, it is in fact quite the opposite. The slower bits are obscenely heavy, but at the same time give the listener time to prepare for the next brutally fast bit. The reason why these slower bits work so well is that they feel like natural pauses within the music, so instead of feeling like a grind band trying to mix things up in a contrived way, Dirge flows seamlessly through it’s pace changes, whilst still remaining unrelentingly heavy.
Part of the problem with Abuse was that the 23 track album got flooded by the 34 bonus tracks of varying quality. Thankfully, Dirge has no such problem. The album consists of 25 tracks, and lasts a total of 19 minutes. Because the album is so short, everything on the album is of supremely high quality, and this lack of filler means that the listener is engaged the whole time. This is arguably the greatest strength of Dirge, as it makes a refreshing change from those albums we all have, where we listen to 3 or 4 tracks and leave the rest. The last track, The Final Insult, is also worth mentioning. This is most likely my favourite track on the album. It’s one of the slower songs on Dirge, but at the same time, it’s got to be the heaviest. The breakdown that kicks in just before the 30 second mark would make most metalcore bands absolutely green with envy. It is impossible not to want to headbang or mosh to this track. I would argue that a lot of Dirge’s success is due to this track. Because it is such a good last track, it is memorable, and that is what will keep people coming back to it. Too often, albums have an anti-climatic ending, and the fact that there are indeed distinguishable tracks in amongst this wall of grind really helps the album to remain memorable.
Dirge might not be anything wildly different or new, but it is an absolutely perfect slab of grind. There are no obvious faults in the music at all, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants some straight up grind, or just some ludicrously heavy music.
Don’t forget that Dirge is free to download from Earache now.
Sounds like: Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Rotten Sound
Killer tracks: The Final Insult, Evolved in to Nothing, Deceased Occupation