Coven — Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls
(NEVOC 13, 1969/2008, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01This is one of the freakiest things I've ever heard — a psychedelic rock recording from the late 60s entirely based on a kind of horror-movie Satanism, including more than thirteen minutes devoted to a Black Mass in which a female supplicant pledges her eternal service to the dark lord, all presented without music (unless you count a bit of chanting). The rest of the recording features nine songs of fairly ordinary rock of its period. There are a few twists, of course, most prominently the lyrics, all of which deal with witches, hell, and the devil. The majority of the lead vocals are by a female singer a little reminiscent of Grace Slick, though less folky. Frequently the backing vocals attempt a kind of Carmina Burana power or break into chanting. It is by turns silly and creepy, and I suppose a superstitious person might have trouble with the subject matter. Mostly I just find myself amazed at the bizarre spectacle, surely one of the oddest things recorded. Or maybe there's a whole underground recording industry catering to Satanic cultists, and this album is their rock talisman. I don't know if all the later devil-obsessed heavy metal bands can really be traced back to this — certainly it predates them, but it may be obscure enough to have been unknown to them.
Related artist(s): Coven
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more