Singapore’s Wormrot have made quite the lasting impression on all things grindcore, directly from the outset with their debut Abuse. They sent the album over to the legendary Earache Records and the rest was history. There was a quick turnaround with Dirge, five years later was Voices and after six more years we arrive at Hiss.
This record is set to be the band’s final album with Arif Rot at the helm which is a shame, because he brings a good raucous and punk-like energy to the records, even more so in a live setting. What was his final foray with the band like?
Fans of classic grind albums will find the band’s 21 tracks in just over half an hour very familiar, but Wormrot have always seemed more riff heavy in a modern way, separating themselves from records like Scum and Extreme Conditions and aligning their grind attack with the likes of Nasum and Pig Destroyer, making riffing a furious and integral part of what they do.
The back-to-back tracks “Behind Closed Doors” and “When Talking Fails, It’s Time For Violence!” are a good encapsulations of the band with the former being riff centric and the latter coming across with GWAR and Ghoul-like humor; a flat out silly song that just rocks.
Of the long form tracks, “Voiceless Choir” riffs its way through sections of group chanted vocals in the most fun way this side of a particular band’s Splatterthrash. Wormrot can be many different bands depending on the song, and it’s always played so expertly well, you’d be hard pressed to find too many bands in extreme music that can rip off a headbanger and then follow it up with a string section in the form of “Grieve” and use it to successfully transition into “Sea of Disease.” Those moments make their records stand above more than just a few grinding tracks, the art of album composition is right there, too.
Hiss is a more mature Wormrot writing punk and grind for the masses as opposed to in their bedrooms. Who knows where things will go from here for your favorite Singaporean three-piece, but as always with the band, the sky’s the limit. Hiss is a tremendous record and one that was well worth the wait, one that transcends subgenres and crushes barriers along the way. This is a must listen for all the metal faithful.
(released July 15, 2022 on Earache Records)
Heavy Music HQ Rating:
Watch Wormrot – “Behind Closed Doors” Video