This is Wormrot doing what Wormrot do best, better than they’ve ever done it before. Loud, fast, relentlessly heavy, pissed off grindcore of the finest quality. Taking cues from thrash, death, crust, and hardcore punk, this album pulverises. Not only does vocalist Arif Rot sound more ferocious than ever, screaming and growling with real passion, guitarist Rasyid consistently churns out some of the best riffs in the genre. And new drummer Vijesh brings his own unique style to Wormrot’s sound, bringing a more natural sound to the band.
The variety is one of the album’s greatest strengths: riffs on ‘Compassion Is Dead’ or ‘Fake Moral Machine’ could have been on an Entombed album, while the opening of the first track ‘Blockhead Fuck Off’ calls ‘Angel of Death’ to mind. But there are also some surprisingly melodic moments throughout the album, and these are often the highlights for me. Cuts like ‘Hollow Roots’ and ‘God’s in His Heaven’ manage to keep up the intensity while also remaining interesting with melodic phrases that keep things memorable. Voices also features some of the longest songs they’ve ever written such as the dirge-like ‘Buried the Sun’, and the (relatively) melodic closing track Outworn. The four-track run from ‘Fallen Into Disuse‘ to ‘Fake Moral Machine’ is some of the best grindcore in many years. The solid production works in the album’s favour as well, giving the instruments room to breathe without sounding sterile. The guitar tone is particularly satisfying.
And beyond the obviously quality of the album, I’m actually just really glad that this album has seen the light of day. The band have been through a huge amount of shit since the release of 2011’s Dirge. From touring mishaps and the difficulty of making a band like Wormrot financially viable in Singapore, alongside difficult day-jobs, to the loss of long-time drummer Fitri last year under murky and frankly somewhat scary circumstances; this band has been through it all. Voices feels like a labour of love from a band that have been kicked again and again but refuse to give up making the music they love. And thank God they refused to stay down, because this is a forceful reminder that Wormrot are still at the top of the food chain when it comes to this particularly abrasive, exciting style of music.
Voices is available now through Earache Records.