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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wormrot: Abuse

Year released: 2009
Label: Earache Records


1. Lost Swines [1:20]
2. Exterminate [1:07]
3. Double-Feeding [0:29]
4. Born Stupid [1:20]
5. Sledgehammer [0:15]
6. So Fierce For Fuck!? [0:08]
7. Dis-Appointing [1:34]
8. Good Times [0:57]
9. Freedom To Act [1:25]
10. Indonesia [0:53]
11. Shitlack [1:04]
12. Condemnation [0:25]
13. One Round Away [1:07]
14. Fuck... I'm Drunk [0:53]
15. Operation Grindcore [0:26]
16. Rich (Yeah Yeah Yeah's cover) [0:43]
17. Overgrown Asshole [0:35]
18. Blasphemy My Ass [1:08]
19. Fix Your Broken Mind [1:08]
20. Newkiller Nuclear [0:39]
21. Uncovered And Proud As Fuck [0:38]
22. Murder [1:29]
23. Scum Infestation and Last Song [2:17]


Don’t be fooled by the seemingly lengthy track listing. Although this album has 23 tracks, it is far from long. Its total length is only slightly over 20 minutes, but this is to be expected from any grindcore album.

If the line separating extreme music from being a mockery exists, grindcore as a genre would be pushing that fragile line’s very limits. Including noise, drone metal, and thrash punk, grindcore completes the list of some of the most extreme genres of music today that often crossover into what people politely call experimental or crudely call being a joke.

Wormrot, a superbly new grindcore band from Singapore, was only formed just a mere 3 years back. They are also the first Southeast Asian band in the world to be signed onto a renowned underground extreme music label overseas, namely Earache Records. The band recently had a successful European tour in 2009, and will be soon embarking on a US tour. There is no doubt about it, this probably marks the rise of Southeast Asian metal beyond its own borders. \m/,

Man, I feel increasingly proud of being Singaporean these days.

Anyway, being part of the grindcore horde, I automatically assumed at first that Wormrot would sound like a bunch of amateur wretches plowing away on their instruments mindlessly. Well, mindlessness is actually a fairly large part of making grindcore music, but I was really surprised to find my previously horrid image of grindcore slowly fading away from the skeptical depths of my mind as my ears got assaulted by the blissfully gratifying death-metal-influenced aural snacks.

There is grindcore… … and then there IS GRINDCORE! As I mentioned earlier, being extreme or a joke are two vastly different things, and trying to stay extremely extreme without turning into a joke is a very subtle art to master. I can safely say that Wormrot has mastered this subtle art, for although they do have senseless track names and lyrics and constantly recycled guitar riffs, their songs have a vibrant energy to them that just makes one feel like moshing out to them on the spot.

Grindcore is all about speed, speed, and more speed. If you are looking for intelligent track names and lyrics, or long and epic songs, you are looking at the wrong genre. Grindcore is all about instant gratification, it is the MacDonalds of extreme music, offering any speed-deprived metalhead a quick shot of adrenaline to get them to a speedy ‘high’. “Abuse” is an album that really excels at doing this, while injecting some comedy along the way in the form of senselessly explicit track names and lyrics. In fact, they actually fit rather well into the album structure of “Abuse” thanks to the joking manner in which the band carries themselves (e.g. the photographs of themselves with their eyes striked out on the album sleeve, and the DIY artwork and wacky layout of the lyrics pages).

Singapore's very own grind masters: From left to right - Arif (Vocals), Fitri (Drums), and Rasyid (Guitar)

Needless to say, the drums are inhumanly fast, and the vocals consists of standard growls and screams. It would be an improvement if Arif could start utilizing pig squeals more often (if any in the first place, at least I don't think I heard any on "Abuse"), for they would add more variety to his vocal range and a whole new dimension of vocal brutality. The artwork displaying the rotting human face with the word “Abuse” in the left eye socket really complements the overall theme of this album too, being viscerally reviling enough to give one an overview of how this album might sound like just by looking at it.

Wormrot - Live at Obscene Extreme Fest 2009 in the Czech Republic

Wormrot - "In Grind We Rot" Indonesia Tour

I guess the only thing I would hope to see an improvement in is Wormrot making slightly lengthier tracks on their next album for an enhanced duration of speedy aural fun on each song. Not so long as to sound like repetitive noise for 3 minutes or so, but maybe just around an average of 2 minutes to utilize the short attention span of speed-crazed metalheads to its fullest!

In parting words… IN GRIND WE ROT!

Verdict: 8.1 / 10

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