Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wormrot - Dirge

Earache Records/Riot! Entertainment/Warner Music Australia

Singapore based grindcore outfit Wormrot caused quite a stir in the underground scene with the release of their debut full-length album ‘Abuse’ in 2009 through independent Singapore based label Scrotum Jus Records.
Although the band weren’t really doing anything that hadn’t already been done before, the sheer energy and force with which the band pushed their music and sound certainly wasn’t lost on listeners, who helped spread the band’s reputation far and wide throughout the underground scene.
The rise of Wormrot within the grindcore scene wasn’t lost on Earache Records either, with the label signing up the band, and duly re-releasing their debut album in 2010 to a worldwide audience.
With two years having passed since the release of ‘Abuse’, Wormrot (Who comprise of vocalist Arif (Who also sings for Flesh Disgorged), guitarist Rasyid and ex-Analdicktion drummer Fit) are back with their long awaited sophomore effort ‘Dirge’. And as hard as it is to believe, it would seem that Wormrot really have outdone themselves once again.
Clocking in at a mere eighteen and a half minutes, and packing a whopping twenty-five tracks, it’s clear that Wormrot haven’t changed much from their original grindcore template of the past – just merely refined things.
The opening track ‘No One Gives A Shit’ is somewhat of a misleading start to proceedings with its long drawn out (And dare I say melodic) guitar riffs, but it soon picks up at the tail end with Arif screaming out the title of the song.
From here on in, it’s total audio violence from one track to the next, with the trio blast from one song to the next.
Upon an initial listen, it was hard to pick out any real stand outs within the track listing, let alone recognising where one track finished and the next started. But after repeated listens, the subtle shifts in tempo and changes in direction in the tracks started to reveal themselves, and along with it, the realisation that as an album, ‘Dirge’ really does offer up a lot of variety (The newly adopted dual vocal approach from the band really helps to shake things up more from what was heard last time around), and flows exceedingly well from start to finish.
From the not so serious (‘All Go No Emo’, ‘Spot A Pathetic’ and ‘Butt Krieg Is Showing’) to songs that have something serious to convey (‘Evolved Into Nothing’, ‘Waste Of Time’ and ‘Erased Existence’), and from the fast paced power-violence pieces (‘Compulsive Disposition’, ‘Public Display Of Infection’, ‘Ferocious Bombardment’ and ‘Destruct The Bastards’) right through to material that steps a little more into regions uncharted for the band (‘Plunged Into Illusions’, ‘Overpowered Violence’, ‘Deceased Occupation’ and ‘A Dead Issue’), Wormrot have covered all the bases, and with a passion that’s rarely heard in grindcore today.
But aside from the above mentioned tracks, the definite stand out cuts on the album can be found in ‘You Suffer But Why Is It My Problem’ (Wormrot’s salute to Napalm Death’s classic ‘You Suffer’), the awesome riffs within ‘Semiconcious Godsize Dumbass’, the five second blast of ‘Fucking Fierce So What’ (A sequel to the band’s ‘So Fierce For Fuck?!’), the strangely catchy ‘Principle Of The Puppet Warfare’ and the lengthy instrumental closer ‘The Final Insult’.
As an added bonus, the limited edition version of ‘Dirge’ also comes with a bonus D.V.D. Comprising of two components, with the first being is the seventeen minute making of the album documentary called ‘A Dirge In Progress’.
Although it sounds enticing, there’s little excitement from the band in the studio, and apart from the brief ‘Recording finished with Fit’s fart of relief’ footage at the end, it’s hardly the kind of documentary you would watch a second time around.
The second segment, ‘Abusing The World 2009 – 2010’, is a little better value for money, with the thirty-one minutes showcasing various performances from the band in the Czech Republic, Poland, Malaysia, France and the U.S. The footage and sound is a little on the raw/bootleg side of things, but still well worthy of checking out to see what the band can deliver in front of a live audience.
Despite its short running length and a D.V.D. that’s a bit hit and miss in terms of entertainment value, overall ‘Dirge’ is one hell of a grindcore release, and one that’s guaranteed to put any listener in a killing mood.

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© Justin Donnelly