RINGWORM - THE 1990/1991
Length: 33:58 (min:secs)
A band that was formed in Cleveland (USA) way back in 1990,
Ringworm helped to shape the music of
their genre over the years. “The Promise” was their 1993 debut full
length album, re-released and re-packaged by Deathwish with the
addition of their 1990/91 demo and astounding artwork in a gatefold digipack
format featuring the awesome design work of Jacob Bannon.
Their sound is a definite mix of old school hardcore and aggressive metal, but it’s much more than just standard metalcore. They manage to blend a fusion of extreme metal sounds on top of a hardcore foundation. A jumble of styles including thrash, death and speed metal riffs as well as old school hardcore, particularly in the vocals. There are songs that include break neck thrash paced speeds and other that reek of death metal but they all are knitted together with the underlying attitude of hardcore.
Sixteen short, sharp and to the point tracks that include “Sideshow” which starts with a stonking metal riff then quickly launches into a flat-out meltdown, and then into “Flatline” that briefly sounds almost Slayer-esque before turning to something much more hardcore - these songs typify the mix of styles and sounds right across this album. Unfortunately, the production is quite muddy and the dry, weak sounding vocals are very one dimensional, so the appeal of the album could be limited and its essence and significance may well be lost on most.
Although innovative in the way that it dovetails extreme metal and hardcore so expertly, today it sounds dated and the poor recording quality - which was most likely done on a very limited budget - doesn’t help and flattens the sound so that little stands out and grabs you. This album is maybe one for the nineties metal enthusiasts or the dedicated Ringworm fan - but hey, maybe by hearing how it used to be done will make many appreciate the genre roots and just how well nearly all music is produced today.
(4th December, 2003)