Band: Atomic Witch
Title: Void Curse (EP)
Label: Seeing Red Records
Release Date: 30 August 2019
Format: Digital promo
When I first saw the name ATOMIC WITCH (during a recent hunt for new music to review) I anticipated some retro 70s Stoner Rock/Metal. Imagine then my surprise (and delight) to discover that this young band from Cleveland, Ohio are in fact a fabulous blend of Thrash, Death and Black Metal, delivered here on this their debut four-song EP with irresistible energy and all the technical flair needed to meld these genres together in a way that feels totally natural and organic.
Having already been primed by the fantastically propulsive opening track “Severed Commandment”, it was during my first exposure to the title track that I found myself in one of those great moments of “holy shit what is this awesomeness I’m hearing” as after a great intro of staccato guitar and drums that slowly build to relentless battery level, vocalist Gorg jumps from a savage, guttural Thrash/Death delivery to a ear piercing scream to make King Diamond and Bruce Dickinson proud. It gives me goosebumps still each time I hear it. In fact as both Gorg and Dagon are listed as vocalists, I can’t be sure which lines come from who, but let’s just say that the vocals are great and leave it at that.
For an EP of four tracks that slashes and burns from out and back into the demonic void in an all too brief ten minutes, there are a really impressive treasure trove of peel-the-skin-off-your-face riffs here. The aforementioned “Severed Commandment” comes rushing straight out of the gates with fast, hammering riffing (including some great on the mark blast beats), interspersed with, chugging head-banging passages, as Gorg (or Dagon) wails like a possessed soul, struggling for his life to escape a pit of demons feasting on his soul.
On top of the “I-love-this-so-much-I-can’t-help-smiling-like-a-psycho-as-I-listen-to-it-on-my-headphones-in-public” vocal flair of the title track, the absolutely skull-splitting drum and guitar interplay on the title track (courtesy of Namostopheles, Destroyer, and Dagon – please let these all be their birth names) moves from riff to riff so effortlessly. It’s a real thrill ride.
After such a brilliant one-two punch, tracks three and four “Rude” and “Funeral Lust” can’t quite match up to brilliance of the first two tracks, but for sure the energy and musicianship don’t dip for a moment anywhere on this release. At a mere 1:45 ‘Rude’ rips through your house, smashing all in its path and is gone before you know what happened, while still getting a face-ripping solo in there. Final track ‘Funeral Lust’ meanwhile deploys all the band’s weapons: thundering blast beats, impossible vocal wailings and sick, guitar riffing.
And then as suddenly as it starts, it’s all over. One of the best ten minutes of music I’ve heard this year and like a demon dog, I salivate in anticipation for the band’s next release. 9/10 Tom
9/10 Epic Storm
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