Saturday, October 1, 2016

Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls - Coven

So to kick off my less Halloween-tackular-bonanza-onzi-Month-A-Palooza (fucking let me die please), I have decided to do an album I've been putting off for a while. Why have I been putting it off, because I forgot about it to be honest, the review. This is the debut by Chicago satanists Coven. I chose to initially review this album because it predates Black Sabbath by a year, also another funny thing about this is there's a member that's nickname is Oz. Also Jinx used to do devil horns on stage before Dio was performing. She also gets naked in the gate-fold, but she's much cuter on the cover than naked (IMO). This was pulled after only a short shelf life because of the satanic themes, remember this was 1969, not 2016. But whatever, I still dig this thing and am reviewing it. Oh also, check out the wikipedia page, there's a really interesting story about the songwriter for the record. Not occult odd, just kind.... well you'll see.
  1. Black Sabbath: This is a shot for shot remake of the film of the same name. This opens with a sort of groove, that I wouldn't expect to be here. It's a very interesting sounding sort of vamp over the vocals. The keys, or effects add this sort of horror film eerie dissonant sounds. I like the guitar tone, and I think the vocals and are sort of added too, during the long notes with that echo or dissonance.  The songs has this sort of pivot with drum rolls and it does into a much harder rocking part. That ends with sort of cadence, but I love it because it makes me wanna sing a patriotic song sort of. Not really, but that's what comes to mind. I really like the bass and the sort of marching feeling that is hypnotic and could be them summoning something. I can't believe they fit this much shit, in the best way possible, into 3 1/2 minutes. This is a really well put together track that has great flow and the "pivots" work and don't detract at all.
  2. White Witch of Rose Hall: Okay, off the bat I'ma be straigh, this is a phenomenal track. I could so easily see this being a soul song, if it didn't find it's home on this record. The percussion is pretty solid, though it kinda sounds a bit off a parts but it's all good. The vocals here are great and the groove and forward pushing drive of this song is great. The piano sounds fucking great and they even were able to throw in some variation. Fucking James Vincent, I gotta look into more of his shit. I really like the percussive sounds they got on this track, and it's kinda like outta nowhere. I'd never in 1 million years expect this to be on this type of album.
  3. Coven in Charing Cross: Ah. Classic titular band track. This song has a very psychedelic feeling, but it kinda makes me smile. Hippies were like, happy and "peaceful" but it's funny to hear that mentality and sound for something more conventionally sinister. I love that group chant that makes it almost sound as if it's a cult, but this is a pretty solid tune. There is a song this kind of reminds me of, but I can't quite finger it. I don't like this as much as the last track, but I do still think it's pretty solid. The only thing I think they could have changed was maybe that last longer chant they could have had music or something going on to make it sound hypnotic or more textured. Like it happens three times, each time I think should be start stop start stop. Why not have it start, stop, then start then trip out. I fee like the sound could have been shortened, but I feel like based off the last two songs they could have done something really good with those two other pauses. Hell even reading the chant over the outro solo or having that phase out and then the segue in with a vocal harmonies and someone over it. I have tons of ideas for it.
  4. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge: This is a cover the the Van Halen album of the same name. But oddly enough this sounds much more reminiscent of The Doors. Maybe mixed with Uriah Heep's keyboards (only so slightly though). This still is a great tune, don't get me wrong. I love the grooves and the fucking bass player. Damn, I love that bass line (the tone). This could pass as a Door's reworking or a version before Jim joined the band. Hypothetically speaking of course.
  5. Pact with Lucifer: This is a song that is kind of standard, it really isn't blowing me as much away as one of the other tracks. It's not bad, but it's kind just like a song with Satanic lyrics that could have been recorded at the time. This could so be a Jefferson Airplane song.
  6. Choke, Thirst, Die: This is what my ex used to yell during sex, so as you can tell I have a sort of nostalgic connection to the song. Holy shit, does this remind anyone else of Soft Paradise. Mixed with Stange Days maybe a bit. There is a great solo on the track, I do really dig, but the song is just another song that kinda fits. It isn't throwing anything new at me. I do really like the vamp feeling to it though and the keys really sound great. There's a part where it sort of has a pre-solo vamp section, and they just go to the introduction. Like what the fuck bru, I get that it does pick up, but still.
  7. Wicked Games: This is a song based on a cover of The Weeknd's hit Wicked Games, adapted to modern texts. This is a pretty solid tune and it's good a nice feeling to it. Again there isn't anything crazy here,
  8. Dignitaries of Hell: This so reminds me of Cream in the beginning. Though I do like the keys added, like it gives a different flavor to the sound you know. Like an extra texture.
  9. Portrait: of a picture of my parents, as I left for California? This is another track that fits, but it's a bit more organ heavy maybe. It kinda feels like a less intresting version of something happening on Fly to the Rainbow.
  10. Satanic Mass: This track, at 12 minutes, is the longest by far and most unconventional track too. It's an actual "induction" into what sounds like The Church of Satan. It's creepy and in my option, something you only need to hear once, unless your an occultist or into paganism or satanic imagery, literally. I mean it's just kinda bizarre, it'd be like listening to a baptism on a record..... But into the Church of Satan. Not saying that its fucked because its for Satan, or whatever strain of Satanism it is. I'm more in the, its 12 minutes of an induction ceremony, so like do i really want to revisit this... Regardless of what its into. I don't know you know, its unique I guess but it is what it is. It also has a writing credit to Bill Traut (the guy who produced a number of singles and albums, but for me most notably the first four Styx records). #BillTrautIllimanitiExposed
Overall I have to give this album a 7.8/10. I like the record, there's a punch you dig. All terrible jokes, and confusing dumbass references aside check this out. It's a great rock record and great for Halloween. I think they sort of lost their creative steam after track three, but that's not a terrible thing. I know a ton of people who like songs that work together. It's not so bad it blends, but they all work on the same album. I just wish there were more parts that kind of threw in changes, and things out of nowhere (or at least changed it up a bit). Check it out if you think the cover, the themes, or anything about it is intresting. Hell even if it's just outta morbid curiosity listen to the last track. I think it can be summed up as if Jefferson Airplane, mixed with The Doors. And also if Janis Joplin wasn't boring as fuck. Side note: I wonder what this would have been if it was a live record.

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