Exposé Online banner

Coven — Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls
(NEVOC 13, 1969/2008, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls Cover artThis 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.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 33, 2008 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Coven

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
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


Previously in Exposé...

Syd Barrett - Crazy Diamond – With the exception of some live sessions recorded for the John Peel show, this 3CD box set purportedly contains all of the surviving post-Pink Floyd recordings of their one time bandleader Syd...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues