DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Atomic Witch and No/Mas
Once again, we delve into the misty midst of underground demos, EPs, singles and mini-albums ...
Up first is Cleveland Ohio's ATOMIC WITCH with their Void Curse EP (Seeing Red Records). Self-described as a blackened death/thrash outfit, these ears instead hear a somewhat technical death/thrash concoction. The blackened part eludes me. Regardless, three of the four tracks (total running time 10 minutes) dart about adroitly, time changes and intensity aplenty. All the while, vocalist Gorg the Impaler sounds like he himself is continually being impaled, squealing, yelling and growling up a storm like a mad cross between Nasty Ronnie (Nasty Savage) and Discharge's Kelvin Morris (Grave New World-era). If that's not head turning enough, the other track switches gears slightly, attacking in cyber-tech mode, akin to the sadly defunct Grip Inc.. Challenging, but worth the effort. 
Assaulting us next is Washington, D.C.'s NO/MAS with their Last Laugh EP (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions). Delivering six tracks in eight minutes, this is a case of straight-up d-beat grind obliteration in the Napalm Death tradition. Utilizing all of his kit, drummer Henry sets the blazing pace here, though breakdowns are inserted here and there allowing you to catch your breath. Dizzying in its intensity and swirling viciousness, as all good grind is, the cherry on this treat comes in the form of the guttural death vocals. Uncompromising.