Ringworm – “Hammer of the Witch” (Relapse Records)
Human Furnace returns! Ringworm are an old school metalcore band from Cleveland formed back in the early 90s and despite enjoying success, decided to split to either become tattooists or join the beast known as Integrity. Some 10 years later they reformed and have been dishing it out on Victory since, so this move onto Relapse is a good opportunity for them to reach out to metal fans – and why not, when you’ve material as good as this! Listening to tracks like ‘Physic Vampire’, ‘Leave Your Skin At The Door’ and ‘Die Like A Pig’ there’s a definite heaviness and brutality that sets Ringworm aside from the ‘core mainstream with a deep crunching bass and generally bottom heavy sound owed more to metal bands. Additionally Matt Sorg’s riffs lend as much to Slayer as they do Agnostic Front and on more than one occasion Ringworm do come close blissfully to the monstrousness of early Integrity. As for Human Furnace’s vocals, well, they speak for themselves being raw and the precursor to many of today’s screamo and deathcore styles – this is how it was back then, when the blurred lines were still being defined, and Ringworm are back doin’ it all again on 13 tracks making it the season of the witch!