Good old Wormrot - this three piece from Singapore seems to be a household name these days (I guess as much as a grindcore band can be...), and certainly for good reason. They've got a solid history of putting out great material, and Voices is no exception.
Let's start with the physical album itself. Unfortunately, mine suffered a little damage in the mail, but even with that, holy shit is this a great looking album. If you thought the main artwork on the front of it was sick – just wait until you open it up. The gate-fold reveals the same style of artwork with a persons jaw and tongue being ripped out and thrown across the fold. Brutal. A few things are inside of the jacket – the copy I ordered came with a signed photo of the band (cool!), and a fold out poster with the lyrics on the back. When it's unfolded, the poster is the art from the front cover, with a whole part you didn't get to see before; more jaws being relocated. Still brutal.
On to the music itself. It kicks off with “Blockhead Fuck Off”, with a quick riff of the guitar coming from the right speaker, kind of sounding like it's coming out of a radio, and a quick tap on the hi-hat brings the track to life. If you aren't already violently thrashing your head by the time Arif comes in with a primal scream...just wait until the first blast. Whatever they mean by Blockhead doesn't matter – this is a ripper of an opener and Blockheads CAN fuck right off. “Hollow Roots” follows “Blockhead”, and boy is it different. These aren't the kind of tones I'm used to in grind...but make no mistake – by the time you've even acknowledged it's different, you're right back into a neck-breaking blast beat. This goes on for a few more tracks until you get to my personal favorite track, “Oblivious Mess”. Here again, we start off with some different tones, and when it kicks in the song almost feels like a black metal track. But give it a sec – nope, definitely grindcore.
Wormrot keeps up this pacing through the rest of the album. They do a lot of experimental stuff, there are definitely a lot of sounds on this record that are not conventionally grindcore, and push into a different tonality than most of us are used to. It's a welcome change of pace from the standard blast-dbeat-blast-dbeat pattern of a lot of things these days tend to follow, and they've inspired me to move past the 4th fret myself ;). Some other highlights on the album are “Fallen Into Disuse”, “Fake Moral Machine”, and “Defaced”.
This is definitely something different, and one worthy of being on every grindfreaks shelf.