Overall Score: 8/10 Vocal range: 10/10 Originality: 8/10 Catchiness: 4/10 Pros: Visceral power felt throughout album | Great riffs Cons: Shorter songs blend together
Three albums deep into their career and Singaporean grindcore band Wormrot are no longer hopeful outsiders but fully fledged veterans of the scene, but that doesn’t mean they’re about to slow down. If anything, “Voices” is the bands most blistering, intense and angry work so far.
From the opening strains of the sledgehammer-titled “Blowhead Fuck Off” to the final moments of “Outworn” the band don’t stop for breath once, rattling through a chunk of genres including elements of classic punk rock, metal infused riffing and death metal. Wormrot offer a unique take on everything they touch however – and not being pinned down to a particular genre adds a lot to their potential appeal.
Indeed, though the band vary their style up throughout, the roaring tenacity of Wormrot almost carves its own genre. It’s a unique sound even in the grindcore world, one almost immediately identifiable.
Unlike some of their grindcore contemporaries, the band do not slow down throughout the record. Just two songs exceed two minutes, with most clocking in around the minute mark and some as short as five seconds. The albums “epic closing track” makes a grand three minutes forty-eight seconds. There are no doom laden slowdowns, no clean vocals: nothing except pure fast paced grind music.
The range of frontman Arif’s vocals, from stomach clenching growls to deathly yelps, is incredible. It only adds to cacophony of sounds that Wormrot scrape together on this album and makes the overall product that much more incredible in its ugliness. As with most grind albums, it’s not a long journey, but the time that the band spend with us is enough to make a hugely significant impression.
Guitarist Rasyid’s abilities are plain to see throughout the record. He turns his hand to everything from Dead Kennedy’s esque trad punk riffing to headspinningly fast grind playing, stopping off to treat his guitar to some brief solos once every blue moon. New drummer Vijesh keeps his pace with these accomplished grind musicians with ease, smashing through powerful and well performed but not outstanding drum patters and fills throughout.
The only fault with “Voices” is that whilst running through the album, the shorter songs do tend to blend together. It might not of hurt the consistency of the record to have cut several of the songs that clock in at less than ten seconds, perhaps making room for another thirty second plus screamer.
A minor complaint in the scheme of things, however. Especially when the raw power and viciousness that the band concoct in this album results in one of the most visceral metal releases of the year. Every fan of extremely heavy music should be listening to Wormrot – that’s been the case ever since “Dirge” but it is especially true with this new release.
Voices is out now on Earache Records.