Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wormrot - Dirge

I completely understand how hard it is to truly appreciate grindcore. Heck, when I heard my first grindcore album which was Phantom Limb by Pig Destroyer, I didn’t know what the hell to think! After about a week I decided that I hated it; but for some reason I kept that album on my computer. I actually still listened to the first track every once in a while, but I still couldn’t stand listening to the whole thing. But I gradually started to understand grindcore more and more as time went on, and even now I’m still a little iffy about the genre. The band that really turned me on to grindcore was the Canadian band Fuck the Facts, whom I saw in concert and ended up pressing my lips against the vocalist’s. But we’re not here to talk about kissing Mel Mongeon, I’m here to tell you about a grindcore band that has been through a lot of shit and is from a place that you wouldn’t expect to find a metal band, and that is Wormrot from Singapore.

The majority of people would listen to Wormrot and say that this is your average traditional grindcore band. The majority of full-length grindcore albums out there have no less than 11 songs, this album has 25. And someone might look at the less-than-two-minute song lengths and just assume that it’s just random noise (later to be mocked by Wormrot’s 2011 Noise EP). But if you sit down and listen to the album straight through a couple of times, you will find that there are actually several different kinds of songs. I would recommend that you listen to the songs in order (rather than on shuffle like I do most of the time) because a lot of songs blend into the next one therefore enhancing the Wormrot listening experience.

 Their vocalist expresses the ability to make several different sounds come out of his mouth. You will hear the Lee Dorian-style yell, the Seth Putnam-style scream, exhaled growls, inhaled growls, and even the traditional grindcore pigsqueal. Like most grindcore lyrics, there isn’t a specific theme or topic that is generally followed within the album; the lyrics just seem like a bunch of random shit that the vocalist wrote down in his notebook while high on some unknown substance.

A lot of people would listen to this album and say that there is no music in this, it’s just freaking noise. I tend to agree with that actually, but then again, what is music? Some say that music has to have notes and a steady beat, some say that real music doesn’t have any auto-tuned vocals, some say that good music died when Britney Spears released her first single, the list goes ON AND ON! Here’s the reason why I love music so much: There are no limits, if you take ANY sound, there are at least three people in this world that would call that sound music. A lot of people call the sound of raindrops hitting the leaves on the ground music, some people consider the chirping sound that birds make music, some people consider grindcore to be music. I believe that there’s no true definition of what “true” music is, it’s all just opinion! And although I rarely consider a grindcore band to be musical in any form, I would be one of the first people to buy a ticket to see Wormrot when (or even if) they come to Seattle.

The story behind this album is not an enjoyable one. And it might be especially hard for those of you hardcore Earache Records fans. It’s pretty surprising that none of the other reviews of this album on Spirit of Metal mention this. This album was released in March of this year, in a world where the music industry is just barely skidding along, especially that of the extreme metal industry, where bands made little money even before illegal downloads were available on the internet. I don’t know when the first illegal internet music downloads happened (please tell me if you know) but it’s taken over the global music industry. Although the biggest and most used file storage/sharing website for pirating music and movies, Limewire, was shut down in 2010, the music industry is still suffering; and yes, even the rap and pop artists are having less of an income.

I’ll never forgive Earache Records for doing this because this is the most retarded thing a record label has ever done. Wormrot released Dirge while they were on tour. Their tour bus for some reason got impounded in the middle of the tour, so the only thing that could give them the money to pay the impound to get their bus back was the sales of their second full-length album. But without them knowing, Earache wasn’t being careful with the album and it leaked all over the internet. When Earache saw that this was happening, the amount of downloads that had already been done was so large that the label decided “what’s the point of selling the damn album?” and they started giving the record out for free on their website! Although Earache records started charging money for the album about a month or so after they started giving out for free, Wormrot was still stuck with all of their equipment locked inside their impounded van.

This is an amazing grindcore record that can’t get any purer than this. This album is enough to make a grindcore fan happy. Although they don’t have that big of a fan base, the critics (myself included) love them! This deserves 16/20.