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The Promise

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Album Review

Really, how can you resist a band that calls itself Ringworm? And even better, a band that simultaneously emblazons the phrase "THERE IS NO GOD" across the back of its album cover and then spends 15 songs getting all excited about Satan. (Think about that, now. How does that work?) A quick glance at the lyric sheet — "Grow, grow at a devil's pace/Oh disease of my disgrace," "Cesspool of embryonic scum," and so on — will make you glad that you can't understand a word they're yelling. But the music itself is well worth listening to; despite all the witchcraft imagery and the cheesy gothic clip art on the packaging, Ringworm's sound is much closer to classic hardcore punk than death metal, tight and sharp and focused rather than big and heavy and bombastic. Highlights are a little hard to identify on Promise, since everything on this album is very much of a piece, but there are some very interesting rhythmic things happening on the song called, um, "Urine," which also features a subtly elegant atonal chord progression. The five-track demo tacked onto the end is also lots of good, unclean fun.


Formed: 1991 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Ringworm erupted in 1991 from Cleveland, where they joined bands like Integrity in a brutal local scene that blended purist hardcore with heavy metal influences and punishing live shows. Promise appeared in 1993 through Incision, and Ringworm went on to tour and release several 7"s before lineup fluctuations and inertia sent them on hiatus. But the band returned in 2001 with Birth Is Pain, this time on Victory, and stayed with the label for the 2005 effort Justice Replaced by Revenge. Touring between...
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The Promise, Ringworm
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