The Venomous Grand Design


Victory, 2007

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


The word for Ringworm is "inspired," because that is exactly what this band and release is not.

Honestly, what was the point of recording these songs? This is 33 minutes of underwhelming material. Ringworm would have been better served to release half as many as an EP and just hope for the best, because this is not their best work. It can't be.

There are brief interludes where it sounds like the band might have potential, but that could be because they can play fast. Speed alone does not a great band make, though, and that's all Ringworm has going for it.

Ringworm plays thrash / metal / hardcore music and complements that usually successful combination with shouted vocals. There's no "wow" factor in this band. The drum fills kick into a rumbling double bass at some points during these songs and are coupled with ferociously aggressive guiars, yet everything is lacking. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The instrumental intro to "Dichotomy" is decent but it is overshadowed by blast beats and quick drum fills that have been played better by others in this genre. The drum fill leading to a verse is so familiar that even non-drummers will say, "Hey, I've heard that before."

That sensation is prevalent on this release. "Never Was" just doesn't offer enough interesting ideas. At the :40 mark, the band launches into a 1/2 time groove and then accelerates to a faster tempo at the :53 mark. Couldn't they expand the slightly slower section to explore different aspects of their sound? Maybe a brief lead that has more melody than playing a zillion notes a second or, for that matter, playing a true lead. Most of these songs just seem to chug along without a lot of instrumental expertise, which means you listen to the vocalist scream "I don't care anymore" -- when you are finally able to decipher his vocals, that is.

"I Preach To No One" is the perfect example of the problem with this band. An uninteresting guitar / drum intro of 10 seconds gives way to the vocalist screaming for 30 seconds. The tempo doesn't change and the drums are just boring. Finally, the drums drop out and the guitar plays by itself. When the drum re-enters the fray, it is with double bass and it is awful. This song features a guitar lead that sounds added in at the last minute. The guitar sounds like it is tuned in the wrong key and, as much as I wanted to hear something different earlier in the release, it actually makes me want to listen to the earlier boring tracks again instead of this one. "Hangman" is equally uninspired.

How does a band this awful get a recording contract and the backing of a good label like Victory behind them? There is nothing to offer the listener that has not been played previously by other bands in this genre. The press for this release might have made you think they were something special, but this release is as far from special as you can get. Bands have a duty to contribute to the genre - to make themselves try as hard as they can to do something nobody else does. This band failed to do so on this recording.

Rating: F

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Victory, and is used for informational purposes only.