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First Angel Media

First angel media

Ancient Torture by Olivia M.

The dark swamps of my sludge playlist fester with bands Acid Bath, Chat Pile, and Daevar, and from the tar that bubbles in its underbelly rises Pittsburgh’s Ancient Torture with their self-titled album, Ancient Torture. What defines this genre, a slab of fat cut straight from the arm of doom, is the ability to pair distorted, crunching guitars with a powerful bass and smear it all with hoarse vocals ranting about the depths of despair in one’s own soul. Well, Ancient Torture not only covers all bases, but manages to sound as if this album weren’t merely a debut.

The first track, “Marked For Death”, takes you by the hand through a hell-scape full of amp feedback, distorted screaming, and a creeping bass. A voice cuts through the fog; frontwoman Dingo Ngo cries out from the underworld, and the band breaks through the earth. You are sucked into a churning maelstrom of entrails and black goo conjured up by Dingo as she exclaims, “Marked for death. No reason to run. Marked for death. Time’s up for you”. 

From there you enter a wasteland of destruction and death. Track “Toxic Earth” paints a world of apocalypse where survivors suffer by the hands of demons. Persecution, Punishment, Torture, Execution regails the horrors of judge, jury, and executioner, where their justice is made by parading your agony about for everyone to see. A Thousand Cuts tells the story of a hopeless attempt to find safety, but ultimately ending up meeting your fateful end. Each track delivers a new type of misery into your soul as members of Ancient Torture blast your ears again and again with the bone-crushing sounds of Hell.

Finally, you make it to the final track. Titled “Liquid Carcass”, the song delivers one final blow of human suffering straight into your gut. Six minutes of Dingo’s screams in your mind, illustrating images of people being burned and boiled alive as they plead for their lives from the deliverers of their torture, but are ignored as their bodies turn to slime. Then, the music fades away into static and warped ritualistic singing. The singing turns into ambient music, and you are finally spat out of the depths of Ancient Torture’s world.

As of the time that this was written, I had listened to this album three times, and each time I found myself transfixed by the sound that this band manages to create. I did mention already that this album is a debut, but I truly cannot believe that this is the only thing that I can find on any streaming services, granted I’m not so good at searching for things that don’t require surface-level searching. It makes me excited for what this band has planned in the future, and when that day comes, I’ll be ready to enter whatever realm that Ancient Torture has laid out and face the brutal misery once again.