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Brimstone Coven - "Brimstone Coven" (CD)

Brimstone Coven - "Brimstone Coven" CD cover image

"Brimstone Coven" track listing:

1. Cosmic Communion
2. Behold, the Anunnaki
3. The Black Door
4. Blood On The Wall
5. The Grave
6. Lord & Master
7. Vying
8. The Seance
9. Hades Hymn
10. The Folly of Faust
11. Intro (Bonus Track)
12. We Are Forever (Bonus Track)
13. The Ancients (Bonus Track)
14. Son of the Morning (Bonus Track)
15. LoSt in the oDyssey (Bonus Track)
16. Children of the Sun (Bonus Track)
17. Outro (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by on July 29, 2014

"...this self-titled Metal Blade release has a doom/heavy blues rock/proto-metal vibe akin to Black Sabbath, The Who, Pentagram, and Led Zeppelin."

West Virginia-based Brimstone Coven formed in 2011, during the digital age of music. The band's influences, however, reach back forty-plus years to a time when music was deeply etched into wax grooves. Although the copy I'm using for review is digital, I feel this would be best heard as a record. The album in question, a self-titled Metal Blade release, has a doom/heavy blues rock/proto-metal vibe akin to Black Sabbath, The Who, Pentagram, and Led Zeppelin.

Musically, Brimstone Coven travels through the heavy blues rock sound that preceded actual heavy metal. There is nothing modern in this sound, including the lack of distortion in their guitars. Brimstone Coven does, however, bring riffs laced with psychedelic atmosphere fitting for the occult-based subject matter. Song titles such as "Behold, The Annunnaki," "The Seance," "Hades Hymn," "The Folly of Faust" and many others bring esoteric ideas to the surface. "LoSt in the oDyssey" is a total mind fuck about opening the doors of perception through LSD (notice the raised letters).

"Lord & Master" quietly broods before changing in a second's notice to loud, doom-y dirges. "Big John" William's vocals are masterfully harmonized throughout the album, and his voice is a choir of satanic adulation on this track. His voice bends as if its entering a vortex on "The Black Door."

"Blood on the Wall" is a foreboding tune consisting of light chords that follow a heavy dynamic. "Son of the Mourning" works in a similar manner through simple, jazzy bass lines alternated with soaring guitar scales and chords. Much like Geezer Butler, Andrew D’Cagna's bass lines are audible throughout the album. Speaking of Black Sabbath, check out the heavy change up during "Behold, The Annunnaki."

"The Seance" and the two bonus tracks "The Ancients" and "We Are Forever" show the band, particularly drummer Justin Wood and guitarist Corey Roth, pushing the pace without as many light-heavy alterations. The group then finds its maximum speed on scorcher, "Children of the Sun."

"Brimstone Coven" should appeal to most of the occult rock set for its vintage sound and supernatural atmosphere that pervades throughout the album. The band's use of dynamics is fantastic if taken track by track, but the plodding parts found in the first section of the album before the bonus tracks can drag on if listened to continuously. Although I can't say Brimstone Coven is bringing anything new to the table, the band's members have major chops and their foray into the occult is certainly alluring.

Highs: The production showcases each instrument and works especially well during dynamics.

Lows: Slow parts make the album drag on in places.

Bottom line: Brimstone Coven should find wide appeal due to its familiar sound and occult themes.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)