Label: Relapse Records
One of the greats of metal-infused hardcore (or, if you prefer, old-school metalcore), Ringworm don’t have a bad album in their discography, but Snake Church is the one I find myself listening to most. The 2016 album is a straight-forward, half-hour session of pissed-off riffs that bridge the divide between Slayer and hardcore; furious solos; and aggressive vocals that demonstrate why Human Furnance’s stage name is very apt. Songs race by in a blur, and before you know it the album is over – a real rush of adrenaline and righteous rage.
Whilst the album as a whole is undeniably strong, second track ‘Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun’ deserves special praise. At a very short two minutes, it does more in its duration than most similar bands do in their whole careers, unleashing the kind of riffs that are impossible to argue with, all laced through with dark, catchy melodies and an aura of clandestine violence. It’s a superb song, and the highlight of the album for me. The rest of the album is no disappointment either, and though it sticks close to the template for this kind of hardcore, when the results are this punishing and energetic, it’s hard to complain about that.