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.

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