RINGWORM
"Scars"

(Victory)

01. Voluntary Human Extinction
02. To The Grave
03. Used Up, Spit Out
04. Scars
05. Unravel
06. Cleansing Of The Fall
07. Burning Bridges
08. Angelfuck
09. Empty
10. Hellbound

RATING: 8/10

"Scars" is one those metallic hardcore albums that really should be metal enough for the metal heads and hardcore enough for the HC contingent. Regardless of its appeal to champions of rigidity, "Scars" from Cleveland hooligans RINGWORM should rightfully be considered among the elite of hardcore — no matter how its defined — releases of 2011.

It is a soundly assembled and fiercely performed collection of face-breakers that offers more musical depth — and therefore more staying power – than your average hardcore album. That the lyrics are harder than inner city Cleveland street life and barked with venomous fervor is not all that surprising when a guy named Human Furnace is swinging the microphone. One of the few bands of their ilk that infuse its hardcore with varying degrees of metal in a seamless, convincing manner, RINGWORM brings it harsh and angry time after time, the only exception being a nearly two-minute instrumental with strings and melancholic guitar called "Burning Bridges". Another two-minute instrumental called "Empty" isn't a rage in a cage, but it's a tough little bugger nonetheless, catchy guitar line included.

As for the rest, prepare to make your dropped-jaw "Goddamn!" face. The boys mean business and would just assume smack you in the mouth with a baseball bat as look at you, sonically speaking (one would assume), of course. The battering of "Voluntary Human Extinction", the thrash-tinged "To the Grave", the epic (at seven minutes) and dynamically composed title track, and the righteously hardcore and hooky "Used Up, Spit Out" are all most of you will need to knock you out of your stupor right back into reality. Others will also require the alternating tempos of "Unravel", the head-bashery of "Cleansing of the Fall", the two-part (fast 'n pissed and slow 'n menacing) "Hellbound", and the absolute epitome of hardcore violence that is "Angelfuck", which is not a cover of the MISFITS tune. Get the point? If you don't, then "Scars" was never meant for you anyway. This is music for the malcontent and the murderous.

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