Amidst the ever-shifting sonic landscapes that the hardcore world unfurls, the undying spirit of Ohio’s RINGWORM has, for over three decades, blazed its own furious path, revealing a behemoth that is as menacing as it is timeless. Their moniker may nod to a subtle, persistent parasite, but their sound is anything but; it is the tumultuous storm that awakens and rattles you to the core. With “Seeing Through Fire”, RINGWORM’s ninth opus, we are not merely ‘seeing’ the fire but feeling its infernal embrace, with each track searing deeper than the last.
For those who have trailed the band since their inception in 1989, the journey through “Seeing Through Fire” is a vehement affirmation of the band’s relentless energy. The chug and roll of “Carved In Stone” or the inexorable force of “No Solace, No Quarter, No Mercy” encapsulates the ethos of a band who, like fine wine, seems only to intensify with age.
The magnanimity of James Bulloch, donned the “human furnace”, manifests not just in vocal potency but in an anima that entwines with the very essence of RINGWORM. His vocal tour de force in “Unavoidable Truth” cements his legendary status, evoking a spectrum of emotions from pure awe to lurking dread.
The record is a juxtaposition – a love letter to hardcore’s roots adorned with the fierce trappings of metal. The raw, unfiltered production allows each riff, each snarl, each blast beat to inhabit its own space, weaving an intricate web where chaos meets precision. Songs like “Death Hoax” are invocations, beckoning listeners to dive headlong into the pit, whilst tracks like “Mental Decontrol” emanate a wildness that’s both infectious and unhinged.
But it’s not all breakneck rage. “House Of Flies” sways with a groove that beckons even the most stoic of listeners, and yet, the album never veers from its mission – to deliver undiluted, raw power. It’s an album that doesn’t need the adornments of experimentation, because at its heart, “Seeing Through Fire” knows exactly what it is – a manifesto of metallic hardcore mastery.
In a realm where bands evolve, merge, or fade into obscurity, RINGWORM stands tall, like an ancient sentinel. They are not just a band; they are a testament. A testament to perseverance, to passion, and to the indomitable spirit of hardcore. “Seeing Through Fire” is not merely an album to be heard but an experience to be lived. Join them in this relentless march, and be prepared to emerge – scarred, scathed, but undeniably alive.