Ringworm
Hammer of the Witch


2.5
average

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
March 15th, 2014 | 30 replies | 4,676 views


Release Date: 03/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's the outstanding lack of diversity that makes Hammer of the Witch, while immediately entertaining, ultimately unremarkable.

If there’s one thing that’s plagued hardcore music ever since its inception in the late ‘70s, it’s monotony. The most successful acts in the genre have found ways to avoid falling into that perilous pit by doing something different; something interesting; something risky; to their sound, while remaining firmly gripped to their hardcore roots. For example, Coalesce and their overt accentuation of dissonance, or The Dillinger Escape Plan’s complete disregard of genre stereotypes, creating an atonal, highly syncopated, exceptionally bizarre, unique style of their own. The same cannot be said, however, about Cleveland’s own Ringworm, who, after two decades, still hasn’t found their special niche in the hardcore scene. Unfortunately because of this, their newest LP, Hammer of the Witch, will be deemed ultimately unremarkable, and thus will fail to leave a lasting impression on the modern hardcore scene, if any.

It’s not that Hammer of the Witch is a bad record – it certainly isn’t, and by modern metalcore standards it can be considered a hidden gem amongst the banal wave of brocore bands flooding the scene these days. There are good riffs strewn across the album, great riffs even, and the band has a synchronicity between the members, allowing the brutal ferocity of the tracks to flow together effortlessly. The problem is that Hammer of the Witch is shrouded in monotony. Each song follows the exact same formula as the last, making it near impossible to differentiate one from another. The vocals play a large part in this as well, seeing as how James "Human Furnace" Bulloch uses the exact same yell throughout the album’s 42 minutes; not to mention he’s screaming practically the entire time, so his voice becomes especially grating after the first few songs. It’s a good thing that the riffs are so solid, despite the little variety between them. They stray within the realm of metallic hardcore-thrash metal, with the occasional blast beat to spice things up, i.e. “Exit Life,” one of the album’s highlights. The raw production is spot on as well, making even the most tedious of moments sway you into a little head banging.

Again, the problem isn’t with the music itself – it’s the sheer amount of familiarity and outstanding lack of diversity that make Hammer of Witch, while immediately entertaining, substantially unremarkable in the long run.

Recommended Tracks:
Dawn of Decay
Bleed
Exit Life
Psychic Vampire
Height of Revelation



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



20623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

full stream: http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2014/03/ringworm-hammer-of-the-witch/

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Funeralopolis
March 15th 2014



10999 Comments


Alright review, band has always been mediocre though.

Digging: Sweet Smoke - Just A Poke

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



4714 Comments


Good review, man. Don't know too much about these guys but based on what I've heard they sound pretty much every other generic hardcore band. Doubt I'll check this out anytime soon.

Digging: Integrity - Those Who Fear Tomorrow

HenchmanOfSanta
March 15th 2014



1852 Comments


Birth of Pain is a great album, but I'm not sure if I'll check this out.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2014



5909 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

Solid album, between 3-3.5 for me.

Good review.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



20623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i feel i was a little harsh with this review but the vox really kill this for me. without them it would be a 3 at least

FearTomorrow
March 15th 2014



1690 Comments


If you're gonna jam Cleavelandcore just jam Integrity. Every day.

That said I've never heard a song by these guys in my life, been meaning to check out their early
stuff though.

Nice review btw

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



20623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

cant speak for their early stuff but psychic vampire is a pretty cool track off this. and ive only heard integrity's debut (really the only one i see people talking about) and ya it rules. way different from this though

FearTomorrow
March 15th 2014



1690 Comments


Bro you should listen to their Humanity is the Devil EP, it's fucking incredible.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



20623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

will do. gotta get some more classic metalcore in my library anyway

FearTomorrow
March 15th 2014



1690 Comments


If you need some old school metalcore recs I'd be happy to help ya out, love that stuff

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



20623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shoutbox me brah

JustinKing
March 15th 2014



1285 Comments


Good lord, I completely forgot Ringworm was still around. Their earlier stuff really isn't too bad. Justice Replaced by Revenge is probably their best effort by a hair, but their first three are pretty much on par with one another. And yep, Integrity is better.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014



20623 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ill have to give their early stuff a listen. this was my introduction to the band and it wasnt a very good one imo

Ending
March 16th 2014



1889 Comments


How can an album cover this kvvl be lower than a 3.0?

FearThyEvil
March 16th 2014



12214 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Bout to check this out and see for myself if this is good or not.

LordePots
March 16th 2014



6518 Comments


band may kinda suck but that is a cool album cover

Digging: B-Ju - Merianplatz

FearThyEvil
March 16th 2014



12214 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

So far, it's ight but nothing special. The vocals being a major gripe is something I completely agree with.

LordePots
March 16th 2014



6518 Comments


yeah i dont like their vox at all

FearThyEvil
March 16th 2014



12214 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The songs also begin to sound the same but some cool riffs here and there.



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