Ringworm – “Snake Church” (Relapse Records)
If raging crossover is what you crave, then Cleveland’s Ringworm sound as unpleasant as their foul disease ridden name suggests. Lead by the fearsome Human Furnace on vocals, these brutes play it as intensely in a no holds barred mix of aggressive crossover and raging metal. Every chord, string, and drum head is shredded and pounded (not to mention a few cracked mics) on the sonic fury of songs like ‘Angel Of War’, ‘The Razor And The Knife’ and ‘Temple Of The Wolves’. However, this 12 track 8th full-length album should not be underestimated from a band having a 25 year existence. Super tight and technically astute musicianship, masterfully hateful riffs that instantaneously induce violence, catchy skanking grooves and double bass drumming proudly show that Ringworm are worthy successors to the mighty Integrity while still able to cut it with modern street fighters like Terror and Nails. Beyond its head kicking brutality, the intelligent arrangements on “Snake Church” are what makes the material fresh and catchy, making this a truly superior release and all the more reason to be feared.