Coven – Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls (1969)

(Words by Richard Lewis, Doomfinder General)

Coven are one of those bands that time forgot. They are pretty much entirely responsible for creating the occult rock genre (along with Black Widow) and had they been around today they would probably be huge, but since their debut came out in 1969 there was a lot of negativity around their lyrical themes. Instead, they were dropped from their record label and had their debut album taken out of circulation.

The main question with albums like this is are they actually worth listening to or are you just trying to be more elitist than the people around you? Luckily enough, the music more than holds up to the band’s reputation. Powered by Jinx Dawson’s excellent vocals, Coven cover all the topics that occult rock is still using today – namely witches, satan, demons, satan and witches. The opener “Black Sabbath” creeps and crawls along with a sermon-like quality, “Wicked Woman” gallops along with psych-y guitar flourishes and “Pact With Lucifer” shows just how impressive a vocalist Coven have but every song on the album stands out for different reasons.

However, one thing which I think dates the album is the last track. “Satanic Mass” is a 13 minute recording of an actual satanic mass and while I can appreciate that 46 years ago people might have found it scary it just sounds cheesy listening to it today and there is no need for it to be 13 minutes long. But still, since it’s just a recording and at the end of the album I don’t feel it detracts from the overall quality of the album. Just skip it and enjoy one of the finest rock albums around.