Singapore’s grindcore act Wormrot returns with their fourth full-length Hiss and while the band has had two previous periods of going on hiatus I would not be surprised if a third hiatus or disbanding altogether is imminent.

It’s been six years since the third album Voices was released. During this time long time singer Arif was transparent with the scene about losing his vocals. Unsure of the entire story but he worked through the health malady and his vocals on Hiss are superb. However; the band took another hit when, prior to Hiss dropping, the band announced they were looking for a new vocalist as Arif was no longer a band member. As of this review being written guitarist Rasyid and drummer Vijesh are still without a vocalist, but they are embarking on a tour next year with a fill-in vocalist. Before I go any further, let’s get to this review.

Hiss is 21 songs in 32 minutes and Wormrot are as ferocious as ever. So don’t give up on the band because they don’t have a singer just yet. They even incorporate a violinist on two of the songs, Myra Choo, and I think she adorns the Hiss album cover, more on that later.

There are many great punk/crust/hardcore moments on Hiss and “The Darkest Burden” gets things rolling after some hiss. Punishing rolling drums and screams and then right into the monstrous grind blasts. Vocals are great with the screams and lower register bellows. “Broken Maze” is up next starting with a pit-inducing moment going into a Fear Factory inspired vocal performance then right into monstrous blasts and the 1.15 beat is classic 1985 inspired hardcore to a T. So damn killer. “Behind Closed Doors” continues the hardcore vibe with the opening then right into the vicious grindcore. This grind section will body slam you continuously until the 1.10 slam part dissects you down the middle using your innards to spread on some tasty crackers.

“Voiceless Choir ” is one of the many highlights on Hiss. The opening blasts right into the grind and is unrelenting. The song gets into some melodic moments about a minute in and the 1.33 hardcore groove reminds me a little of DRI. Truly one of the best moments on here and the strumming bass guitar is killer.

“Grieve” is one of the songs with the violin and it starts screechy with the violin almost emulating a Zorn like vibe since it sounds like a saxophone. It’s an instrumental and is bizarre and I’d love for more of these moments on future releases. I love the chaos some grindcore brings and this added noise like element is terrific.

“Sea of Disease” is incredible. The opening is an instrumental that goes into the blast and is so ferocious and then back into a hardcore vibe. Don’t fall asleep to “Glass Shards” because the song is ruthless and the avant-garde violin returns at the 2.10 section. This section actually has a very Fallujah like influence. I love it.

Wormrot has returned and hopefully are here to stay and they find a new singer. The only drawback is the album cover. If it’s in fact the violinist that’s cool because it looks like she’s a siren rising and waiting but the album cover does not scream grindcore and the Wormrot band logo is not on the album cover. If this cd was in a record store it could be confused with a classical music album. The Kill Division album beats this by a hair for best grind album.

This album is very diverse and the increased hardcore moments, violin, and variety of vocal tones make this the most varied complex, and best  Wormrot album to date and shows Wormrot are still leaders not followers in the grindcore scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 5th, 2022


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