Wormrot, a grindcore band from Singapore, released a highly anticipated and brain shattering album just over a year ago: “Hiss”. This album is their fourth full length release since forming in 2012, and it was released in June, 2022 under Earache Records.
The band gained fame when performing in France because of a fan, a literal goat named Biquette, that would appear to enjoy their shows at the farm venue while they played (article with a video of Biquette).
At the time of the release of “Hiss”, Wormrot was made up of Arif (vocals), Rasyid (guitar, bass, songwriting), Vijesh (drums/ percussion) and a guest on this album was Myra Choo (violin). All this info was taken from Metal Archives.
“Hiss” is loud, percussive, invasive, violent and a lot of fun if you’re into grindcore or into trying to discover why the hardcore scene is attractive to so many people. So, come along with me as I take a weird look into this Wormrot release.
Now for the album dive – “Hiss”:
I will be writing about these tracks a little differently from previous album reviews because the horror and grime that exudes from Wormrot in this album needs a different way of experiencing it, so this is what I came up with. It might help to listen along to the tracks as you read.
A growl from deep within your body escapes your mouth. You have to let something out. It’s going to be filled with anger, pent up hate from the things that keep you in place. A speedy, barely restrained guitar and drums punch you forward. You’re fighting with your skull pounding to take another step in the right direction. Dissuaded. Dissuaded again. Take your anger out on something. Someone. Maybe it’s the person next to you. They probably didn’t deserve it, but you’ve been pushed this far and this is the explosion you’ve got to release.
Immediate, murderous intent from drums spew forth into the air currents surrounding you and you’re just hammered away into a noisy headspace with no room to think. The world blurs by you as you spin round and round and round again trying to gain control of your breathing, your footing, your head. It’s all slipping away, then the chorus comes and it’s a little bit of respite until you’re launched again into violence and gnarly guitar riffs.
A weird urchin-like whisper surrounds your head. The drum beats are fast, but measured. The guitar slows like a Tuesday brunch shift, but we’re swept away again into death measured by the pile of growing fear, anxiety and number of cigarette butts littering the ground. The voices, they aren’t really there (but then again they might be), whisper, whisper, whisper then screech. The track ends with a heavy-metal fade out into the ether.
My personal favorite track: violin screams from the heavens, the hells and most certainly humanity. It tapers off then rushes back into a rigid, quick tempo. There are no vocals on this track. Purely instrumental madness trying to get under your skin where the bugs and blood live.
Oxygen is escaping the atmosphere at an alarming rate. We’re suffocating and drowning on land. We can’t escape our fate. We can’t escape death. Who’s going to die next and leave enough oxygen for the next few to live just a breath or two longer? Violence oozes form the pores as everyone tries their hand at murder and harm for one more greedy breath of a destroyed, polluted air.
I find “Hiss” to be masterful. Wormrot’s earlier full-length releases like “Voices” are fantastic to listen to as well, but this album brings out how much knowledge and talent this band has. It’s a deadly combination of fast and violence with great diversity in the tracks too. If more grindcore becomes this or is influenced by it, fans are in for a treat and many unforgettable mosh pits.
Icky-natured and still beautiful, “Hiss” presents us with distrust, unforgiving human attributes, hate, corruption of power and more if you’re willing to go looking for it. I cannot get enough of this album. I’m very glad I had the chance to talk about it here, so I hope to spread the love and appreciation I’ve nurtured in it.