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WITCHCRAFT DESTROYS MINDS AND REAPS SOULS

Coven

Proto-Prog


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Coven Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls album cover
2.68 | 31 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Black Sabbath (3:32)
2. The White Witch of Rose Hall (3:08)
3. Coven in Charing Cross (4:04)
4. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (4:41)
5. Pact with Lucifer (3:32)
6. Choke, Thirst, Die (3:32)
7. Wicked Woman (3:01)
8. Dignitaries of Hell (4:09)
9. Portrait (2:37)
10. Satanic Mass (13:19)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Ross / Drums
- Christopher Nielsen / Guitar, Vocals
- Jim Nyeholt / Organ, Keyboards, Piano
- Oz Osborne / Bass
- Jinx Dawson /Vocals
- Jim Donlinger / Guitar, Arranger, Vocals
- Alan Estes /Bass
- John Hobbs /Keyboards

Releases information

Mercury LP

COVEN MP3, Free Download (music stream)


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Buy COVEN Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls Music


Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reap SoulsWitchcraft Destroys Minds & Reap Souls
Akarma 2013
Audio CD$39.99
witchcraft destroys minds & reaps souls LPwitchcraft destroys minds & reaps souls LP
MERCURY
Vinyl$68.00
$125.00 (used)

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COVEN Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls ratings distribution


2.68
(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(19%)
19%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (26%)
26%
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)
10%

COVEN Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
1 stars Coven was a band that laid the foundation for future doom-ridden acts that bathed their music in devilish imagery. They are credited as being the first rock act to use the horned hand salute and the inverted cross in their photographs. The inside photograph was of the band in satanic garb performing a black mass, with a young woman completely nude on the altar (not Dawson, incidentally, who felt she was too overweight- I suppose Dawson was just too modest to lie naked on a satanic altar with a golden chalice covering her pubic region). Anton LaVey himself had Coven performing as something of an in-house band for the Church of Satan in California even. Christian conservatives at the time sought to prove rock music was rife with messages of the occult, looking at techniques such as backmasking for hidden messages. There are no hidden messages or secrets here- devil worship is the key element throughout the entire album. Thirteen minutes and fifteen seconds of the album are not music, but audio of a devil-worshiping session. As for that which is actual music, I find it fairly pleasing, but the constant occultist lyrics seem juvenile and sometimes downright laughable. Jinx Dawson possesses a voice similar to Grace Slick, almost exaggerating her idiosyncrasies, and the overall sound is indeed comparable to Jefferson Airplane. There has been discussions and interviews about whether or not Black Sabbath copied Coven (since, interestingly enough, the bass player's name was Oz Osbourne and the first song on the debut album is entitled "Black Sabbath").

"Black Sabbath" The first song on this dark album features a pleasant jazzy introduction that eventually gives way to a heavier edge. Rather than give the song a spooky, sinister feel, the layers of voices only serve to annoy me. The guitar playing is overall decent. There is some cacophonic business to conclude the song.

"White Witch of Rose Hall" Second up is a jaunty number with bouncing bass and a roadhouse-like piano. Despite the bluesy, almost countrified music, the lyrics regard the mysterious character of Annie Palmer. There is a 1928 novel by H.G. de Lisser regarding the same subject.

"Coven in Charing Cross" With lyrics describing a demon-summoning ritual (along with mentioning the drinking of infant's blood) and some droning chanting, the concept overwhelms what is otherwise good music. The music even stops during the chant. Dawson vocalizes loudly over the guitar solo in the end.

"For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" Obviously entitled after a variant of the popular canard regarding the original of a certain expletive, this song features some distorted guitar and rapid organ chords. As with other songs, the vocal harmonies are not harmonically pleasing.

"Pact with Lucifer" The music here is close to what a lot of popular blues-rock bands were doing at the time (this one reminds me of The Doors a bit). Dawson's vocals are all over the place and are raspier than ever.

"Choke, Thirst, Die" This one has some pleasant although bland music. The guitar work is quite good, running through various blues riffs, but again, Dawson feels the need to shriek over the guitarist's work, effectively ruining it.

"Wicked Woman" The second shortest track has a fairly basic structure but for a few interesting variations. At last, the guitarist gets an uninhibited chance to show his stuff.

"Dignitaries of Hell" Utilizing heavy tom work and several accents, this is the most drum-dominated song on the album. The singing about Satan and hell and all that sound out of place over such upbeat music, especially over those major chords. The guitar playing is tastier than anywhere else though.

"Portrait" The shortest song is a shadowy, more psychedelic one. The guitar is more subdued than on other tracks, allowing the bass to stand out, and the organ also achieves a bit more presence. Again, the lyrics are about Satan.

"Satanic Mass" Had I been inclined to have purchased this album without much knowledge of it, I would have been sorely disappointed. What seems to be the epic of the album is the band's attempt at recreating an actual Satanic mass. It begins with the tolling of a bell, but everything after that is chanting, preaching, the initiation of a neophyte, and a benediction. They chant The Lord's Prayer backwards. The leader says things like, "Are you prepared to serve our Lord Satan with your whole mind, body and soul, permitting nothing to deter you from the furtherance of his work?" and "I deny Jesus Christ the deceiver." The band pulled from numerous sources, including French miracle plays like "Le Miracle de Théophile," wherein one of the players sells his soul to the Devil. Much of the English dialogue was taken verbatim from Dennis Wheatley's occult novel, The Satanist. They also borrowed from Grillot de Givry's Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy. I've heard it once- I won't hear this foolishness twice.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#201403) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 01, 2009

Review by GruvanDahlman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I guess that most people find satanism to be more in tune with pure metal, black or whatever, but I have always been of the opinion that the most chilling tales of satanic (or otherwise) rites, the occult (in general) and the supernatural comes more to the fore when the music is rather gentle and nice than screaming and thumping around like a norwegian black metal band. Who's to say that the Devil doesn't like his music to be relaxing?

It comes across less forced and more natural, as if all the mumbo jumbo is genuine beliefs, when the music speaks of all the good things (if there are any) with the Devil. Nice, gentle songs. That is the scariest stuff. Black Widow is such a band, Coven is another. If it is metal I am not hearing it, hard rock maybe but certainly some kind of proggish pop and rock with just a hint of folk.

The singer is crazy and her vocals are furious. Behind the blonde beauty lies Hell and she holds the key, I'll tell you. All the songs on the album are nice tunes with good enough lyrics. "White witch of Rose Hall" being my favorite, alongside "Pact with Lucifer". The so-called "Satanic mass" is maybe a track you listen to one time, I have not managed to do even that. I guess it is on there more as a novelty than anything else. On the other hand you have to realise that there was some sort of satanic music movement on the prowl, at least groups dabbling in the occult albeit dressed up in fany hippie clothes and flowers on their heads. Self t proclaimed satanists performing mock sacrifice on stage (like Black Widow) were (maybe) just out for the publicity, like so many other artists and groups before and after, but it seemed real and by that kind of scary.

Coven's first album is quite good. I would not hail it as a masterpiece, though by no means bad. It is rather solid, musically, but comes across these days as more of a novelty act than the real deal. On the other hand this outfit seems, even today, to be more scary and unpredictable than, say, Gorgoroth or Root. These boys and girls were in it for real, as it seems, and who knows, maybe there were a few apparitions gathering at the gigs, staring from the other side...

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Send comments to GruvanDahlman (BETA) | Report this review (#928787) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The decision to include a 13 minute spoken word rendition of a "Satanic Mass" (blatantly play- acted and cobbled together from diverse sources, including Anton LaVey's own tedious brand of commercialised Hollywood Satanism and Dennis Wheatley novels) perhaps overshadows any other aspect of Coven's debut album. The fact is that whilst its inclusion was controversial enough at the time to get some temporary publicity for the band, the album's reputation has suffered in retrospect for the inclusion of 13 minutes of embarrassing and often tedious Satanic ritual which goes absolutely nowhere.

It's a crying shame, because if you actually ignore the last track there's some solid psychedelic rock with progressive moments on this album. Thematically more reminiscent of Dennis Wheatley and Hammer Horror movies than anything more sinister, the tame Satanism offered here would look wimpy next to even the (still quite cartoonish) antics of Venom or Mercyful Fate in the 1980s, let alone the extremes the black metal scene would reach in the 1990s, but it does offer a precedent for acts such as Blood Ceremony, Uncle Acid and even Electric Wizard, with Blood Ceremony in particular coming close to the Coven sound in their more psychedelic moments. But at the same time, we can't pretend that the band didn't offer up an album with an unforgivably high proportion of filler in the form of the Mass. Three stars seems fair.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1065114) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars This album really gets a bad rap. People who want to hear Satanic rock wish it to be metal, on the lines of Black Sabbath, and that's not what they get here. Some can't stand Jinx Dawson's singing, but I have no trouble with her voice. I expected her voice to be like that, with that evil, wicked ... (read more)

Report this review (#507480) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Monday, August 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is a strange little novelty record. The music is actually not bad: it's basically folky psychedelic rock similar to Jefferson Airplane. The songs feature campy lyrics about Satanism, witchcraft, and the occult; I happen to enjoy music with that sort of aesthetic, and i find the far-out, over ... (read more)

Report this review (#202224) | Posted by AdamHearst | Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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