A little bit of strangeness never hurts when it comes to thrash, and thrash-death champions Atomic Witch hone their palpable eccentricity into a force of evil on their upcoming debut album Crypt of Sleepless Malice. Musically, they blend thrash and death metal into a nasty, bloodlusting ceremony, but their lyrical content (and penchant for excellent choruses) mutates their obscene rituals into B-movie horror flicks, replete with over-the-top imagery and utterly deranged narration. This isn't exactly introducing any levity into the proceedings, which combine lightning-quick blasts and incredibly technical riffing, but the album rampages on with an obvious demented glee that's admirably easy to sink into.

Frankly, there's only so many so-very-serious depictions of ritual sacrifices and murder I can take--these no longer even register and certainly don't scare, so why not paint a little weirder scene? On their new single "70,000 Skulls," which comes with a wicked video, the Clevand crew paint a portrait of sheer evil with a slight inventory problem, skipping no gruesome details nor logistical qualms. Thanks to the crystal-clear, yet ear-shredding shrieks of vocalist Greg Martinis, you'll hear all about it on the track (and, see the statement below for more information).

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The band comments:

"70,000 Skulls" is a fictitious story of a spell gone wrong, in which a psychopath’s frenzied attempts to appease an archaic, blasphemous recipe fail over and over as he realizes - “I need more fucking skulls.”

In some sense, the concept is sort of a reaction to a lot of common metal tropes and themes. Instead of us describing some all-powerful, evil villain who has mastered the dark arts at their command, here we have this psychotic, unhinged fuck-up stacking up thousands of skulls in his own vomit all for nothing over and over again. He thinks he’s found the magic number, but has he? Or is he just doomed to kill and wretch forever?

The video also serves as our way of capturing some of this frenzy and madness in the abstract. While ostensibly a performance video, we tried to channel some dark psychedelia and psychosis via constant spinning, swirling camera movements, as well as flashing, looping images projected both practically at the shooting location and digitally in post-production. The intended effect is one of disorientation, mimicking the depraved spiraling and fractured thinking of the song’s subject, and the constant movement is meant to parallel the song’s similarly relentless musical structure. There’s not a lot of down time in this one instrumentally or lyrically, and the video definitely reflects that.

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Crypt of Sleepless Malice releases November 4th, 2022 via Redefining Darkness Records (Bandcamp page here).

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