April 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Ringworm – Hammer of the Witch

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Ringworm

Hammer of the Witch

Relapse

Street: 03.18

Ringworm = Ringworm

At this point, Ringworm’s greatest testament is their longevity, having been steadily grinding away since ‘98, crafting a stream of excellent records while most of their contemps have opted for the quick cash of a reunion spot. Switching to Relapse will certainly expose them to a wider fanbase of longhairs. The drums sound decidedly beefier here, with tracks like “Bleed” and “We’ll Always Have the End” showcasing the traditional interplay of James “Human Furnace” Bulloch’s razor-gargling shrieks with the twin-Teutonic crunch of Matt Sorg and John Comprix. Think classic Ringworm with a marginally groovier bent—skeptical ’heads need only check out the title track sonic for reassurance and a potent “Birth is Pain”–esque gallop. Hammer of the Witch announces itself like every Ringworm album does, a snarling wallop to your aural senses, and then delivers much more (“One of us is Going to Have to Die…”)—for longtime fans and dewey-eyed newbs alike. –Dylan Chadwick
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