RINGWORM — Snake Church

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RINGWORM - Snake Church cover
4.00 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2016

Filed under Crossover Thrash


1. Snake Church
2. Brotherhood Of The Midnight Sun
3. Fear The Silence
4. The Black Light Of A Living Ghost
5. Destroy Or Create
6. Shades Of Blue
7. Innocent Blood
8. The Apparition
9. Believer
10. The Razor And The Knife
11. Angel Of War
12. Temple Of The Wolves


- HF / vocals
- Matt Sorg / guitar
- Ed Stephens / bass
- Ryan Steigerwald / drums
- Mark Witherspoon / guitar

About this release

Released July 29, 2016, on Relapse Records.

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Snake Church" is the 7th full-length studio album by US, Ohio based thrash/hardcore act Ringworm. The album was released through Relapse Records in July 2016. It´s the successor to "Hammer of the Witch" from 2014. There have been two lineup changes since the predecessor as drummer Danny Zink has been replaced by Ryan Steigerwald and guitarist John Comprix has been replaced by Mark Witherspoon.

Stylistically the material on "Snake Church" pretty much continues down the same thrash/hardcore road as the material on "Hammer of the Witch (2014)", although several of the tracks lean a bit more towards hardcore than the case was on the predecessor. "Snake Church" is in fact an album which is hard to label correctly, because sometimes it´s almost pure hardcore with D-beat drumming and fast hardcore punk riffing, and other times we´re treated to Slayer type thrash metal riffing and thrash metal oriented rhythm work. The vocals are in the screaming hardcore camp though, and although they are well performed and James "Human Furnace" Bulloch has a raw and passionate delivery, the vocals do feel a bit one-dimensional after a few tracks.

The material is generally well written and actually a bit more varied than what initial listens might suggest. While the music is one-dimensionally aggressive all the way through the album´s playing time, Ringworm do change pace a couple of times (from predominantly fast-paced to heavy), and there are even a few melodic guitar moments featured on the album too (very few). It is in the variation department the band could improve though and some of the tracks could have been a bit more hook laden and thereby a bit more memorable too.

When that is said "Snake Church" is still a high quality release by Ringworm. The album features a top notch sound production, strong musiciansip, and the band obviously understand how to write a powerful thrash/hardcore tune. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
Time Signature
Brotherhood of the midnight sun...

Genre: crossover

"Snake Church" is the latest offering from the crossover band Ringworm. This being their seventh full-length effort (in addition to countless underground releases) from a band that was formed in 1991, one might expect to hear inklings of fatigue on the album.

Well, if that's what you expect, you're wrong. From beginning to end "Snake Curch" is an onslaught of aggressive and angry crossover thrash which - to my ears - leans a bit more to the hardcore side than to the thrash side. The listener is bombarded with uptempo simple, but effective, guitar riffs accompanied by fast drums and a crunchy bass. The barrages of aggressive speed are punctuated by well-timed heavy hardcore-style breakdowns which re as moshing-inviting as anything can be.

The production is pretty good, with the guitars being crunchy, yet well-defined, and the drums packing a wallop (in particular the bass drum is like a kick in the guts). The songs themselves are relatively short but still long enough that the listener can get into the groove. Admittedly, there is not too much variation on the album, and the angrily yelled vocals do not add much melody either (the guitar solos are very melodic though). Then again, that's not the point of this album. This album is all about aggression and energy. And, in that department, it delivers.

While probably not something that appeals to all metalheads, those of you who like hardcore and crossover thrash should find this a very enjoyable listen.

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