CD Review: “Snake Church” by Ringworm

Cleveland hardcore-metal outfit Ringworm spread the crossover gospel on its eighth record, Snake Church. The title track fires like shrapnel in the air piercing all in its path. The rollicking guitar riffs and hardcore drumming are relentless as vocalist HF belts out occult lyrics that would make Venom’s Cronos raise his chalice. “The Brotherhood Of The Midnight Sun” continues the satanic punk assault. The track is a solid meld of gothic riffing and hardcore speed that could wake the dead. Then there is the one two punch of “The Black Light Of A Living Ghost” and “Destroy Or Create.” These tracks clock in at less than two minutes and are sprinkled with some nice leads and riffs. The eerie spiraling guitar chords on “The Apparition” sound like several evil spirits chasing you in the forest in the dead of night.

Without question, Ringworm are all about speed on Snake Church. The band’s technical prowess is on display, however it does not overshadow the group’s aggression and pugnacious attitude. This mars Snake Church at times as some songs can grow a bit generic. However, the record is diverse enough that it is not a major hindrance. The quintet are solid musicians and are not afraid to throw out a complex time change or flashy guitar solo. The production is good and has a vintage 80s feel to it. It is neither murky or over polished and complements the gritty content on the record.

Snake Church is a charmer. The thrash meets hardcore sound will satisfy fans of Goatwhore, Toxic Holocaust and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles. Ringworm keep things interesting but terse which keeps the album from sounding stale. Snake Church is crossover thrash in all its unholy glory.

Check out the band’s Facebook page for news and tour dates:

https://www.facebook.com/Ringworm13

CD Review: ‘Mass Confusion’ by Dust Bolt

German thrash outfit Dust Bolt cut to the chase on Mass Confusion. The opening track, “Sick X Brain” is one minute of full on crossover thrash. The blitzkrieg rages on with the title track which starts with chugging riffs before the band launches a thrash onslaught. There are strains of Metallica, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, and Destruction on this track, showing the versatility of the band. The pummeling breakdown in the middle of this song is gold. The initial single, “Allergy” is a frantic riff tornado that that gives the listener little room to breathe. Things get a hectic on “Mind The Gap” with its time signature changes, but drummer Nico Remann keeps it all together. It is one of the more interesting tracks on the record especially with its shredding lead. “Exit” is a somber semi-acoustic number that breaks up the ferocity of the record. It is not filler and prevents the record from sounding monotonous.

Mass Confusion is thrash metal played right. The Teutonic quartet has done its homework, drawing influence from the thrash and hardcore groups of the 80s. Mass Confusion is not too crossover or too thrash and finds a solid median. The musicianship is top notch as guitarists Lenny Breuss and Flo Dehn play well with each other. The duo seamlessly trade riffs and keep a tight rhythm. The album is produced well as there is no clipping and the instruments do not bleed in to one another.

Dust Bolt were not confused when recording Mass Confusion. The band has all its marbles on this, its third record, and plays them well. Mass Confusion is a great thrash/crossover record that is a cut above the current but stale thrash revival scene. The band puts its own unique spin on an older subgenre to good results. Fans of The Haunted, Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust should pick up this record. Dust Bolt bring the speed.

For news and tour dates, check out Dust Bolt’s website: http://dustbolt.com/