Band: Atomic Witch
Title: Death, Sex + Satan (EP)
Label: Seeing Red Records
Release Date: 31 October 2020
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Back in August of last year (oh that innocent time when taking a plane flight seemed like no biggie), I took a brief summer trip from Prague to Düsseldorf to do a week of intensive german classes to get me started on the road of learning german and hopefully moving to the country not too long after that. During that week I stumbled upon the debut EP by Cleveland, Ohio’s Atomic Witch, “Void Curse”, and what an awesome, 100mph Death/ Thrash discovery that proved to be.
Well, here we are now less than a year and a half later and I’m now living in Düsseldorf and what do you know there’s a new Atomic Witch release to give me those warm nostalgic feelings about my first trip here. If Tommy Late Starter here had been a bit quicker on the uptake I might have reviewed this a little closer to Halloween when it was released, but better late than never right?
Seemingly an appetizer as the band works on their full-length debut, “Death, Sex + Satan” comprises three covers, showing both the band’s versatility and the range of their influences. What shone through immediately on last year’s “Void Curse” is that these boys can play and make no mistake about that. First on the menu here is a cover of the W.A.S.P. classic “Animal: Fuck Like a Beast”. Some of the sleazy swagger of the original is here replaced with more of a modern, chugging, heavy sound, with both the guitars sounding extremely meaty and plenty of pounding drum fills.
Another key feature of Atomic Witch is their dual vocals. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m going to hazard that guitarist/ vocalist Dagon delivers the rasping Death Metal howls, and it’s vocalist Gorg who channels the energy of the most awesome 80s Heavy Metal wailing you could hope for. Here on the opening track you could think for a moment that Geoff Tate had stopped by the studio to lay down some vocals.
Next up the band apply themselves to Deicide’s “When Satan Rules His World”, and it would be hard for anyone to make this track any heavier than the original. They do their best though, somehow adding an extra dimension of being trapped in a blast furnace, with the high pitched screams of “WHEN SATAN RULES THE WORLD” a notable deviation from the original with Glen Benton’s low, gruff delivery.
The final track is a cover of Faith No More’s “Surprise! You’re Dead!”, where the band again bring a more direct and heavy-hitting delivery. Here perhaps the most out of the three tracks the twin vocal styles really fit the track, as between them Dagon and Gorg do a pretty job of recreating the virtuoso madness of the man Mike Patton.
“Sex, Death + Satan” is a fun, muscular romp through three classic covers. As a reminder of the band’s chops and a teaser for the next original material they have brewing it’s a welcome little diversion. Listening to the EP also got me listening again to the “Void Curse” EP and remembering how great that is. It also got me listening again to all the originals and appreciating how cool those were. Given that the band are no doubt huge fans of all three bands, I’d imagine this is just the reaction they’d be hoping for. Enjoy this and I strongly recommend you also check out “Void Curse” and then blast some Faith No More, W.A.S.P. and Deicide, because why the fuck not? 7/10 Tom Boatman
7/10: Victory is Possible!
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