There’s something about bands from the more exotic regions of the world that really tickle the curiosity of metal fans. So when you have a misfit trio from Singapore destroying your ears and emptying your bowls with some spastic grindcore, you know you’re going to get everyone’s attention. Wormrot are Southeast Asia’s most extreme cultural export who return with their third and most vicious instalment to date, Voices.
Let’s be clear, grindcore isn’t a genre you can easily pick up in an afternoon and do your Sunday Times Sudoku to. Bands like Napalm Death and Terrorizer helped pave the way for this sonic equivalent of a punch in the ear hole, and since Earache Records pretty much put these acts on the map, it isn’t surprising that Wormrot have become the centre of their grindcore revival.
Since being handpicked by Earache Records owner and founder Digby Pearson, Wormrot have proved that they are more than capable of holding their own and can stand quite proudly amongst the label’s vast legion of legendary acts. Albums like 2011s Dirge helped cement Wormrot into the heavy community of the world and after five years of waiting, how does Voices hold up? The answer: Pretty fucking well!
Unforgiving, unrepentant and antisocially aggressive, Voices delivers what Wormrot fans have been waiting for. Within the first four minutes, you would have thought that a swarm of bees had been unleashed unto your senses. God’s In His Heaven and Hollow Roots are brimming with the fundamentals of pure belligerence you would expect from a band of this reputation. However, it isn’t until Oblivious Mess comes crashing in that we are really treated to a proper pit spinner.
The album does stick very close to the formula that grindcore was based on, which is a big breath of fresh air considering the vast amounts of crossover genres there are floating around the place. The fact that the band don’t even have a bass player adds to their, “Fuck you!” attitude to the world.
With a mountain of riffs, it’s much easier to digest the album as one singular piece, rather than individually cherry pick at the swarm of twenty tracks Voices presents. These include such gems as the miniscule but potent eight-second Dead Wrong and equally destructive five-second wonder, Still Irrelevent.
By the time Voices has chewed you up and spit you out, you are still in shock and awe of this ferocious record. However, it isn’t all fuzzed blast beats and mindless chugging. New recruit, Vijesh on drums certainly picks up the pace and even chucks in some tasty grooves to compliment his bandmates, Arif (vocals) and Raysid (guitars) sonic onslaught.
Though it is uncompromisingly filthy, the production is somewhat cleaner than some purists might be accustomed to. This isn’t to say that this is a polished album to say the least, but this isn’t the microphone in the shed experience that fans have grown accustomed to over the years. However, grindcore fans, this could very well be a contender for your album of 2016.
Voices is out October 14 via Earache Records