Death Becomes My Voice

May 1, 2019


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The Pitch: Cleveland's premiere hardcore act Ringworm are back at it again 30 years strong with another no frills release via Relapse Records. FFO: Integrity, Black Breath

What I Like: Ringworm have been around a LONG time, but I honestly didn't take notice until 2016's Snake Church, which was an album I enjoyed quite a bit. I mention this not only to out myself as a total poser hardcore pleb, but also to highlight my perspective as a fan of the band's more recent material without any real context of legacy. That out of the way, Death Becomes My Voice strikes me as another fun album from a band very much set in their ways. Much like Snake Church, this album features all of the great traditions of hardcore: energetic drumming, aggressive riffs, and vocals more bitter than day-old, 9 to 5 workplace coffee. This steadfast adherence to mission statement ends up being both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it makes for a perfectly enjoyable listen. The material is very consistent with nary a weak track in the bunch. The riffs get me going and the energy is definitely there.

Critiques: On the other hand, I've very much heard this all before. Even after repeat listens, nothing really stands out as one of those "Yooooo, have you heard this?!" tracks that might randomly come to me in conversation about new music. I mean in a way, the album art kind of sums it up by compiling every visual cliche into one image.

The Verdict: Death Becomes My Voice is a perfectly serviceable album that will likely appeal most to longtime fans of the band and hardcore purists. Few will listen to this album without finding some entertainment value, but it diffuses pretty quickly soon afterwards. In the end, the best compliment I can pay Ringworm is that they did exactly what they set out to do, no compramises. That's gotta count for something.

Flight's Fav's: Death Becomes My Voice, Carnivores, I Want To Tear The World Apart

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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