Dirge is the second album from Singaporean grindcore band Wormrot, released back in 2011, and it’s an excellent vitriolic follow up to their previous album Abuse.
The oldschool grindcore sound is strong in Wormrot’s music, but they have a huge dose of individuality which really stands them out from the crowd. With a real hardcore influence to their music, vocalist Arif’s voice is excellent, shrieking and barking in equal measure with huge energy, and even with an intense performance the angry, pissed off lyrics are easy to make out compared to most grindcore artists. It’s a powerful performance, violent and angry, with lyrics to match, aggressive and pissed off – from the politically charged assaults, to bursts of pure hatred, the lyrics here are great. The riffs on the album are brilliant, and with a huge, grinding guitar tone, the album rarely breaks out of top speed, with cutting, ferocious buzzsaw riffs making up most of the playing, but when the slower groovier riffs come in, it makes them all the better. The playing is great here, with lots of varied riffs ensuring that each of the 25 songs doesn’t come close to running into the next. Perhaps the star of the show though is the drumming. Blasting away in true grind style, but with excellent varied fills and interesting ideas throughout, it’s a supreme performance, taking as much from hardcore as it does from grindcore, with tons of drum rolls really adding to the energy of the track. Without relying solely on blastbeats, it makes it all the better to hear such a varied and interesting approach.
Principle of Puppet Warfare is by far the best track here, with a short intro, before bursting into Arif’s vocal assault, and incredibly brutal drumming, it’s a 40 second piece of grindcore brilliance. That’s not to disparage the rest of the album though, the songwriting is strong through0ut, as said earlier, the tracks all have their own unique vibe, something a lot of grindcore albums lack. With 25 songs in 18 minutes, the album is short, sweet, but very complete. It’s the perfect length, and a very original album, while retaining all that makes grindcore so good.
A lot of people prefer their debut album Abuse, and while it’s a great album, Dirge just edges it in my mind, it’s just consistently brilliant. When and if we get another Wormrot album remains to be seen, but hopefully another will see the light of day soon enough, Wormrot are too big and exciting a force not to. If you like your grindcore intensely pissed off and vitriolic, with a powerful hardcore leaning edge, then Wormrot are the band for you.