Band: Ancient Torment
Album: Satan’s Legacy Come Flesh
Label: Eternal Death
Genre: Black Metal
Country: United States of America
Release Date: May 10th, 2019
Ancient Torment is a new USBM project having its roots laid down back in 2016 by the guitarist; joining later with members from Witch King, Bog of the Infidel, Sanguine Moon, and Cemetery Lights, this was a release that immediately piqued my interest. Eternal Death has become a quickly rising favorite record label for me with releases from Omenfilth, Wald Krypta, One Master, among others including Bog of the Infidel. The latter, along with Witch King, serves as my gateway into this group, which continues along the Black Metal trajectory but with a more pure, raw, and truly Satanic aesthetic. Featuring Satanist on vocals (Bog of the Infidel), The Corpse on bass (Cemetery Lights), Zealot on drums (Witch King), Taíno Sangre (Sanguine Moon) and the founding member Tormentum (Witch King) on guitars; the impressive group of black magic practitioners stirs together this Satanic offering of four unholy conjurations.
Utilizing low tones in the summoning is The Corpse, a befitting name for this undertaker, whose bass work is not needlessly complex, instead striking the balance between foundation and interesting. The bass is a little low in the mix, but due to the very raw sound they are going for, it still works quite well. Zealot handles the other half of the low-end, the drums, with the style, skill, and ferocity I expected from him; high in the mix, and surprisingly clear considering the raw production of the EP as a whole. The whole kit is thoroughly abused, with fills, crashes, and bass rips wall to wall on the entire release. I don’t want to downplay just how good the drums are, they blend in perfectly; expanding when possible to grand extravagances, and the rest of the time maintaining the backbone of the music.
The guitars, performed by Taíno Sangre and Tormentum, spend a lot of the runtime in acidic tremolo strumming, but they break it up with some excellent riffs along the way. There is the use of corrosive melody mixing in and out of the rough and raw Black Metal that never overstays its welcome, nor does it degrade the inherently evil sound Ancient Torment cultivate so well. Tremolo riffs, especially when used frequently, is something that can make or break a Black Metal act for me; Satan’s Legacy Come Flesh strikes that fine balance, with the production, the rest of the music, and the vocals, that makes them work. Satanist performs the vocals on this release with a blend of shrill shrieks, moaning clean singing, and a lower register scream; his vocal abilities were one of the factors that drew me to this band, and he doesn’t disappoint on this release at all. Every uttered portent is dripping with vile and venomous purpose; Satanist proved himself beyond belief between Bog of the Infidel and this EP, his vocals slither through the songs striking you at your weakest moment.
Satan’s Legacy Come Flesh is too short, and that is the only complaint I can come up with; at 27 minutes, just shy of the full-length status, it is remarkably full of ideas and very repeatable. There isn’t a wasted moment on this album in any of the four songs, including the nearly 10-minute closer. Every song is self-contained while always serving the whole as its master; all songs have the grown from the same roots but have been groomed into four distinct and hideous abominations. Ancient Torment dragged themselves from whatever tomb or casket they called home, unleashed four hymns in service of Satan, which left me in awe and wanting more. This is a style of crude and visceral Black Metal that is often overlooked but is refreshing when done this well.
Eternal Death keeps cranking out excellent Black Metal, and Ancient Torment is the latest in their monumental roster. Whatever is coming next for this group, new album, or live tour, I can’t wait to see it.
- Satan’s Legacy Come Flesh
- Seven Black Keys (of Damnation)
- Eve in Estrus
- A Treasure Squandered
Total Playing Time: 27:17