Ringworm – Seeing Through Fire

Ringworm – Seeing Through Fire
Nuclear Blast
Release Date: 18/08/2023
Running Time: 31:00
Review by Rory Bentley

First things first apologies for the lateness of a big chunk of my reviews this month, Covid got me good after my annual pilgrimage to the disease-ravaged field of Bloodstock. Which was great by the way, Triptyon doing Celtic Frost is worth contracting most illnesses for. Anyway on with the review!

I’ve been asked some dumb questions in my time but Simon Black asking if I’d be interested in reviewing the new Ringworm record really does take the cake. That’s like asking if I’d like Leicester to win the Premier League again, or if I’d find it funny if (or hopefully when) Nottingham Forest get relegated. All no brainers! Nasty, hyper-speed Metallic Hardcore with vile lead vocals from someone who calls themselves ‘Human Furnace’? Give me all of that you’ve got!

In recent weeks I’ve reviewed some truly spell-binding, innovative and head-spinning Metal releases, the kind of stuff I spent a big chunk of last year begging for. But sometimes you just want laser-focused audio violence without the bells and whistles, and that’s where “Seeing Through Fire” comes in. Sure, there’s a subtle and deft blending of genres at work here, sure there’s clear song craft that’s a cut above most of the competition, but what we have here by and large is a blunt instrument ready to smash your face in! The opening title track fills that brief perfectly with a disgustingly sludgy power chord that gives way to some truly nasty grooves, so dirty you’ll want to give your speakers a wipe down afterwards. All of this is delivered with a relentless pace, a small dash of melody and Human Furnace hollering his bollocks off like Godzilla passing a kidney stone. The drums swing between D-Beat ferocity and Death Metal bass-pedal abuse at the drop of a hat and the whole thing is done in under three and a half minutes. I said to myself ‘if they can maintain this for the whole record this will be another winner’. Guess what? They do and it is.

 Massive props must go to the production job here, when an Extreme band makes a shift over to Nuclear Blast there have been a few glaring examples where the sonics come across a little too polished and shiny which can detract from the savagery of the release in question. The scalding, chainsaw guitars that scythe their way through the mix on ‘No Solace No Quarter No Mercy’ are more than sufficient to allay those fears. Every nasty, callous riff cuts through with a crispness that allows the listener to appreciate the musical chops on show while still having enough shit rubbed on it to satisfy audio masochists like me. See also Entombed at their most feral chugging that kicks off ‘Thought Crimes’ for another prime example of this.

At a tight 31 minutes “Seeing Through Fire” gets in and out before listener fatigue has the faintest chance of setting in, closing out with the creepy partially spoken, Gothic sounding ‘Playing God’. If there was a criticism to be levelled at the record it’s that I wouldn’t mind hearing more of these interesting deviations than we get, however it’s difficult to complain when an aggro Hardcore record spends this long smacking you round the chops with no noticeable lull. For now, the experimental Ringworm opus can wait because this is a half hour of hell that will leave audio masochists across the globe with a twisted smile across their sick fucking faces!

01. Seeing Through Fire
02. Carved in Stone
03. No Solace, No Quarter, No Mercy
04. Death Hoax
05. Thought Crimes
06. Unavoidable Truth
07. House of Flies
08. You Want it To
09. Mental Decontrol
10. Power and Blood
11. Playing God

James “Human Furnace” Bulloch – vocals.
Matt Sorg – guitar.
Mike Lare – guitar.
Ed Stephens – bass.


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.