Label: Seeing Red Records
Release Date: 30/08/2019
What’s this? A perfect stoner rock band name on a band that is as far removed from stoner rock as stoners are from zombified Krokodil addicts? What is this world coming to? I tell ya, this would never happen in my day – back then, you called yourself Atomic Witch, you would either play heavy metal or abuse your poor fuzz pedal. Kids these days.
Of course, I joke. Atomic Witch, not a stoner band, is an Ohio five piece that recently signed to Seeing Red Records, who play a blend of metal that pulls influences from thrash, death, grind, punk, black metal and, at a few points, New Wave of British Heavy Metal (the last one, only with the vocals.) If that sounds too much like an incoherent soup, let me tell you straight up: Atomic Witch manage to concoct a coherent, tight whole from all that.
See, Void Curse takes thrash riffs as its foundation, more death/thrash drumming to support it, bass to hold it up. Using this as their foundation, they don’t tack on but blend different influences. This means that things get very fun, very fast. Take the titular track, Void Curse: the song takes a jumpy, playful, gyrating main riff and works around it to transform it into a driving, relentlessly addictive force in between brief lapses into black metal, death and at one point, getting periliously close to grind.
Speaking of grind, the next cut, Rude, plays out like a grind-adjacent crossover song, which only needs a blast beat to go full monty. It’s a sublime example of the band’s ability to pull influences together.
Of particular mention are the vocals, however. They alternate between typical death/black thrash growly shouts, to full-on growls to (unexpectedly) King Diamond-esque screams with an impressive amount of vibrato.
With clean, well-rounded production, tight tracks, masterful songwriting, memorable riffs and basically everything a good record (EP or not) should have, Void Curse delivers on all fronts, except one. It’s too short. The world needs more of this. Highly recommended. Dang kids!
Gorg the Impaler – vocals
Emperor Destroyer – guitars
King Dragon – guitars, vocals
CZAR – bass
Namostopheles – drums
01. Severed Commandement
02. Void Curse
04. Funeral Lust