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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Ancient Torment, Python and Fixation

We continue to delve into the murky waters of singles, EPs, mini-albums and demos ...

First up some USBM out of New England as ANCIENT TORMENT unleash their debut mini-album Satan's Legacy Come Flesh (Bandcamp). Three years in the making, it's clear by the quality of the material that the band used the time wisely in honing the four tracks to a malevolent and focused 27 minutes. At its core is melodic blackness, but there's also an unmistakable gnarly smear that counteracts, making this an intriguing and satisfying listen. Nary a keyboard in site, the melody comes from the guitar refrains which blitz the brain at 100 MPH. Think Dissection crossed with Thy Infernal and you're in the ballpark. Really good stuff! [7.5]

Next up some Swedish doom, PYTHON supplying us with their Walking The Night (Lightning Records/Bandcamp) two-track EP. Thankfully not of the funereal ilk, the band instead provide an upbeat take on the form, rumbling riffs causing the head to bang in acquiescence. Great production here, guitars full bodied and the rhythm section lively, while Chritus' warble vocals, albeit unique, are a perfect fit here. I'll say it again ... this is proving to be the 'Year of Doom'! [7.5]

Last up this edition, Philadelphia's FIXATION step up with a four track EP called Into The Pain (Bandcamp). Short and definitely not sweet, the band deliver five minutes of bruising hardcore on this, their fourth release. No time to breathe here, the band leaping at listeners with ill intent and in-your-face intensity from first note to bloody last. Not content with a simple blitzkrieg agenda though, Fixation have the skills to create four distinct tracks within the maelstrom. Kinda reminds me of Sick Of It All with an old school, UK punk singer at the mic. Yep - another good one. [7.5]

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