Wormrot
Hiss


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (224 Reviews)
July 11th, 2022 | 312 replies


Release Date: 07/08/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The intersection of brutality and innovation

Like them or not, you have to give Wormrot props for the way they approach a creatively stubborn genre like grindcore. With every release, they expand their sound little-by-little while staying true to their roots, giving them a degree of stylistic freedom while managing not to alienate their core fanbase. However, the opening moments of Hiss were enough to tell me that they were going to take their sound to even darker, stranger places. Instead of storming the gates with fire and brimstone, “The Darkest Burden” introduces the album with murky ambient effects. It sounds as though you’ve been dragged into a deep, damp cave, with the constant fear that something or someone will attack you out of nowhere. It’s as if to say “get comfy", because you’ll be taken to some disturbing, unsettling locales for the next 32 minutes.

As one would expect, the aforementioned “attack out of nowhere” does come, in the form of the rest of the song. Vocalist Arif – who unfortunately departed the band before the album’s release – screams at the top of his lungs, as a barrage of double bass drumming and vicious guitar work helps to set the scene. This pretty much forms the stylistic thesis statement of the record; however, as I stated earlier, there are some interesting tweaks this time around. Of course, as far as experimentation goes, most people’s attention will be focused on the violin parts found on songs such as “Grieve” and the sprawling closer “Glass Shards” – for good reason too, as it’s not often that you hear an instrument like that in grindcore. However, what fascinated me more were the odd bits in which melody would take centerstage. “Your Dystopian Hell” may just be the best example, the combination of frantic blastbeats and melancholic guitar chords being highly reminiscent of All We Love We Leave Behind-era Converge. “Sea of Disease” takes things in an even more jarring direction, adopting a much slower pace and really letting those plaintive guitar lines ring out.

However, this isn’t to say that the band have compromised their trademark sound in the slightest. This shit is absolutely brutal, managing to be just as aggressive and bloodthirsty as the band’s previous efforts. While guitarist Rasyid and drummer Vijesh are excellent at their respective instruments, it’s Arif who steals the show here. The guy can do just about everything you’d hope for from an extreme metal vocalist: the piercing black metal shrieks? Check. Shouting and barking in the vein of traditional hardcore? Check. Stygian gutturals that sound like they came from the pits of hell? Check. I often find that his most effective moments vocally are the ones in which he doubles his highs and lows, such as on “Vicious Circle” and “Spiral Eyes”. Obviously a lot of death metal and deathcore vocalists double up their parts like that, but Arif just makes them sound utterly disgusting. However, as stated earlier, the other guys are no slouch either. Vijesh deserves a special mention, particularly for just how damn fast his drum work is; he might not necessarily be up there with Nile’s George Kolias or Cryptopsy’s Flo Mounier on that front, but damn if he doesn’t come close at times.

If there’s anything about Hiss that does come closer to traditional grindcore, it’s the short-track, short-runtime approach typical of the genre. Most of the songs get in and get out in a minute or two, which is especially effective in regards to the more experimental tracks. You get a nice smorgasbord of sorts: give the listener something cool and unique for a brief snippet, and then move on to the next cool idea. Unfortunately, with the departure of Arif, it seems as though the group’s future is now in the air. Will they continue to push boundaries, or will they revert back to a more straightforward take on their grindcore sound? I suppose only time will tell, but all I know is this: Hiss was one hell of a swansong for Arif to go out on with his time in Wormrot. These guys created a bold, experimental, and inventive record that takes a stagnant genre and turns it on its head, all while never forgetting where they came from in the first place.



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user ratings (209)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Koris
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2022


16143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So yeah, I decided to bump this to a 4.5. Getting better and better the more I listen to it



Also, this is finally my return to reviewing metal after a good five months of exploring other genres. Feels good to be back home for a while :]

parksungjoon
July 11th 2022


45122 Comments


Jazz Harmony isn’t exclusive to Jacob Collier or esoteric jazz ballads. Weird chords, funky time signatures, and other advanced jazz concepts can be found in everything, from video games, to film scores, pop songs etc.

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2022


16143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I got my start with Kenny G, personally ;]

parksungjoon
July 11th 2022


45122 Comments


yea but do you drink cum?

DDDeftoneDDD
July 11th 2022


20654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ouch! A 4.5 grindcore? Hype

Sabrutin
July 11th 2022


8654 Comments


park when did you start transitioning into a bot? I'm getting close to 10k posts and already sometimes I just feel like typing "shitcum" and move on

parksungjoon
July 11th 2022


45122 Comments


2013 prob

BigPleb
July 11th 2022


65140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Probably their best effort yet, absolutely love this.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2022


17436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

Awaiting Dewi's, Johnny's and Sowing's comments...in that order.



edit: I do like how this band is like "right grindcore.... *rolls shoulders*... how bout we fuck that up just a little?"

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2022


49294 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DEWI WHERE ARE YOU



from vague memory, the album's novelties go: skate punk/melodichx angst chords > violin > horror house > butt thrash



gonna get this on rotation though - defs felt like solid 3.7/3.9 territory

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2022


17436 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8 | Sound Off

For those who found something to enjoy here I'd recc the new Antigama - Whiteout due Friday

dachstheangry
July 11th 2022


132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a really good album. My only problem is, most of the songs are too short :/

Mort.
July 11th 2022


19641 Comments


bruh ive only just realised who you are, how many name changes have you had now???? and how long have you been koris?

garas
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2022


7299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That's a really promising review and average score.

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2022


16143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Mort.: I believe I changed my username to Koris back in January :]

Mort.
July 11th 2022


19641 Comments


well can you stop pls? i dont have the capacity to remember so many people

also good review, will be checking this out soon for sure

Koris
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2022


16143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I'm not planning on changing it again. I'm pretty satisfied with the username I've got now



And thank you!

BigPleb
July 11th 2022


65140 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Behind Closed Doors is such a ripper, that intro gets me pumped.

garas
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2022


7299 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Oh my it was soooooooo short!! Middle of the album was esp. strong, and "Glass Shards" is such an awesome album closer.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
July 11th 2022


28577 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

I've been summoned.



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