The Venomous Grand Design
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1. Things Are Not as They Seem
3. Ninth Circle
4. Suicidal Visions
6. Razor's Line
8. Never Was
9. I Preach to No One
11. Life's Blood
13. Hell on Earth
Here we go with another outing from Ringworm, another unecessary dose of Slayer influenced metallic hardcore, with a punk rock backbone. It's rather unfortunate that after three albums on Victory, and a total of 5 releases under their belts, that the band hasn't really progressed much. But then, in keeping true to a specific style, and ensuring the satisfaction of a core fan base, progression isn't always a necessity.
Human Furnace is just as annoying as ever with his own version of hardcore screams and some borderline black metal shrieks. Musically, there are some decent guitar solos scattered throughout the entirety of the album, and track 7, "Dichotomy", has a great acoustic intro. It's apparent that the band has alot of potential and is probably capable of alot more than they showcase.
With former members Matt Devries (Chimaira), and Frank "3 Gun" Novinec (Hatebreed) having gone on to bigger and better things, one would assume that a band like Ringworm would get a clue and step things up rather than to allow themselves to fall into repetition. Unfortunately, that's not the case with The Venomous Grand Design. If nothing else, at least they're consistent. And consistency isn't entirely a bad thing. It could be worse.
Hard Looks, Tattoos and a tough guy attitude alone don't justify comparisons to high caliber bands like Pantera and Hatebreed. And it's laughable that Ringworm has been compared to the aforementioned bands in years past. There is absolutely nothing that could possibly put Ringworm into that category. This is basically third generation, Slayer influenced metallic hardcore. Nothing less, and most definitely nothing more.
There really is nothing Grand about this design, and compared to other bands that are twice as angry, and twice as brutal, there's really nothing venomous about it either. This album is really for those types who lost their passion for discovering new music and got stuck in an era. More specifically, this is for those that are clinging to the classic metallic hardcore era of the late 80's and early 90's. You know who you are. This dud's for you.