For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

Well, I’ve been reading some of my past reviews, and it seems that some of you want me to review some particular releases. I’m open to this idea; just leave your ideas in the comments. Obviously, I can’t review everything — Decibel pays me by the word, and the budget for this column is $4.35 biweekly.  I just peck most of these things at random. Well… maybe.
Let’s start out with hardcore stalwarts RINGWORM, who are releasing Hammer of the Witch on Relapse. First of all, I had to admit, I like Ringworm, and got exposed to them through Integrity, but they’ve never struck a real chord with me. This thing ripped my feathers out. It’s nasty Victory-style metallic hardcore. It goes for the throat, and gets there. This is hardcore music, no doubt, but never really digs into the clichés of the genre like one would expect. Heavy-assed groove riffs, uptime D-beat parts and the vocals. I mean, what can one say about a vocalist named “The Human Furnace”? His throat-wrenching vox really make this thing for me. It really sounds like he gargles with glass, nails, sandpaper or whatever. Last years Bleed EP was pretty cool, but this is way meaner.  He howls and screams over upbeat riffs that then dig into something that make you want to punch whoever is nearest to you. Peck yes! 8 Fucking Pecks.

THOU is releasing the epic, menacing Heathen on Gilead. This is doom, no doubt (as a side note, can we stop saying “doomsters”?), but it’s a little more than doom. Each of these tracks on this 75-minute opus can stand on its own, but listening to this as a whole is a completely different experience.  This is fuzzed-out, thick and dissonant at times, and rarely throws the listener any sort of respite. There are “breaks” in the music, an acoustic passage, some more shimmery ambient type of interludes, but even these never relent, never give up on the overall pummeling that Thou deliver here.  This is exactly what doom should be: something that creates the idea of isolation, depression and an overall sense of awe. 7 Fucking Pecks.

Florida old-school death heads MASSACRE are releasing Back From Beyond, and I’ve got to say that this tickled my feathers. I typically expect some “reunion”-style band to be kind of washed out and boring, but I really pecking dig this. There’s not much to discuss here that any old fan of the band doesn’t know, and this release certainly is breaking no new ground. It’s dark, it’s heavy, it’s death metal, and really that’s all one could ask for out of a new Massacre release. There’s heavy riffing, growled vocals, and there’s time changes. I’ve got to say that the solos really stick out to me as being exceptional.  All the ingredients are here: grit, vitriol and drive. All good things for a band that’s born again. 7 Fucking Pecks.