Review: Wormrot – Dirge

Wormrot
Dirge

Earache

For the uninitiated, Singaporean trio Wormrot are proof powerful of how musical discovery has evolved, and indeed the mysterious way in which it can work. After receiving positive attention on top metal and grind blogs, Earache Records supremo Digby Pearson only went and illegally downloaded their debut album ‘Abuse’, and after giving it a spin, decided to approach the band and offer them a deal with Earache. Wormrot accepted, and the rest will go down in history.


The buzz spread so quickly regarding new album ‘Dirge’ that typically, someone couldn’t resist sharing it with everybody way prior to release. So Earache and Wormrot did the bold thing and offered it as a legal free download, with the added incentive of merchandise. It was a clever move by both the band and the label in an effort to stay one step ahead.

So what of the record itself? Holy balls. 25 tracks, all over and done with in 18 blistering minutes. The opener, ‘No One Gives A Shit’, starts the album with a slow, almost sludgy build-up for the first 35 seconds…and then in come Arif’s vocals, and before you know it, ‘Dirge’ has hold of you like a Rottweiler viciously ragging about a hapless tennis ball. It offers little respite, ‘Deceased Occupation’ being a welcome change of pace, now that you’ve been flung from one place to another. But then it’s back in the proverbial jaws straight away. Not that it’s all totally serious – songs such as ‘Butt Krieg Is Showing’ and ‘You Suffer But Why Is It My Problem’, aggressive as they are, display a fun element to Wormrot and they’re undeniably having a blast on this record.

Musically this is tight and precise, an unrelenting barrage of blastbeats and shredded riffs provided by drummer Fitri and guitarist Rasyid. Arif’s vocals are savage and coursing with venom throughout, shifting between different styles throughout. They blend together perfectly well, creating one unholy maelstrom that’s impossible to escape. Despite the rapid delivery of each song, ‘Dirge’ seamlessly flows from one track to another and the slowdowns that do occur are brief but perfectly timed. The brevity is unreal – one song finishes, straight onto the next one. There’s barely time to catch a breath here, yet despite that relentless pace, it will hold your attention throughout. So many bands can fall into the speed trap and bore the listener to death. But Wormrot have this down to a fine art – so it’s no small wonder why their stock has risen so quickly.

I actually chuckled when I first saw the title ‘Meteor To The Face’. But that’s exactly how this album feels. So swift, so instant, a crushing blow to the senses, both physical and aural. Yes, it’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s done so well, and it only serves to further cement Wormrot’s status as one of the top grind bands out there right now.
Peter Clegg
‘Dirge’ is available for free download via Earache’s website, in exchange for your e-mail address. You can also pay for either a digital or physical copy.

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