RINGWORM - The Venomous Grand Design

Ringworm - The Venomous Grand Design

13 songs
33:27 minutes
***** **


Ringworm are back with their fifth album The Venomous Grand Design. In the early Nineties, the Cleveland hardcore veterans surfaced more or less at the same time as two other legendary bands, namely Integrity and Earth Crisis. Due to other band activities and real-life jobs, Ringworm couldn’t release their records on a regular basis.

The first time I heard about Ringworm was when they released their third album Birth Is Pain in 2001, an average old school hardcore album. An improvement was made in 2005 with the following Justice Replaced By Revenge which had a more metallic touch. The Venomous Grand Design doesn’t differ much from its predecessor, so if you liked that one, you shouldn’t have problems with their new one either.

The combination of hardcore and metal is often called metalcore, but this isn’t the case for Ringworm. Crossover, a popular term from the Nineties, would be a more fitting description. The band plays a lot of fast tracks with angry vocals and pounding rhythms that make me think of Hatebreed and Slapshot. This works surprisingly well even if there are hardly any unexpected moments. Alchemist, which features a guitar solo, and I Preach To No One with its interesting breaks, are work mentioning. I prefer the rawer side of Ringworm, but they also sometimes have moments where speed only plays a minor role. Three tracks (Never Was, Life’s Blood, Hell On Earth) are built upon grooving rhythms as we know from Pro-Pain and Biohazard.

Personally, I think that Ringworm hasn’t completely passed the test of time, but old school hardcore and crossover fans should like this aggressive, intense, but also simple kind of music.

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