Seeing Through Fire
OVERPOWER, OVERCOME: Here’s a question: when was the last time anyone referred to Cleveland sons Ringworm as a “crossover” band? The term certainly applied back on the band’s cracking and formative debut, The Promise, back in 1993. However, slowly but surely, that metallic essence that always lurked within Ringworm’s beating, black heart festered, like the best kind of disease. It took nearly a decade for the band to emerge from exile and record a proper follow-up to The Promise, and it’s been off the proverbial races since that point.
Seeing Through Fire puts more fuel onto that…er, well, fire, since it once again proves how Ringworm exists as the best conceivable replacement for Slayer out there today. Sure, one could easily mirror the careers of both Ringworm and their contemporaries Integrity with regards to their thrashing, Slaytanic journey, but that would be doing the former a serious disservice with regards to the damned consistencyoftheir discography. Seeing Through Fire presents Ringworm not only as elder statesmen of metallic hardcore, but also as a band unafraid to employ new and diverse influences into their arsenal.
Do you remember how much The Haunted kicked your ass with their debut back in 1998? Ringworm certainly seems to, because songs like “Death Hoax” bring back fond memories of how Swe-death used to rule the world. This is most definitely a compliment, and it doesn’t stop there, either. “No Solace, No Quarter, No Mercy” rages with an impenetrable fury, amplified with riffs that explode with nitroglycerine intensity. Meanwhile, frontman Human Furnace sounds as righteously pissed and aggressive as ever, while the guitar playing employs bountiful harmonies and evil, sick-sounding leads to bring it all home.
So, is Ringworm still a “crossover” band? Perhaps not, but they’re a killer band, that possess an infernal habit of putting out banger after banger. And it doesn’t look like they’re going to be stopping anytime soon. ~ MetalGeorge