Here's another new band for you doing the whole 'retro hard rock/stoner/doom/occult' thing, West Virginia's Brimstone Coven. Their self-titled debut for Metal Blade is actually a combination of their self-released initial offering and an EP, now ready made for metal fans around the world. Considering this band formed in 2011, they sound like they have been together for decades, with a tight, formidable sound that mixes elements of classic Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pentagram, Pink Floyd, and a little The Doors for good measure. Led by the supreme vocal talents of "Big John" Williams, the band is rounded out by Corey Roth (guitar), Andrew D'Cagna (bass), and Justin Wood (drums).
This is not your typical stoner/doom release by any means. There is a psychedelic feel throughout the album that drifts between the riffs, adding the right amount of atmosphere and a somewhat spooky element that works quite well. "The Black Door" and "Behold, the Anunnaki" are moody, slow burners, chilling even at times, while "Cosmic Communion" provides a more upbeat, pulverizing attack. Williams' powerful vocal leads the headbanging stop of "The Grave", a massive Sabbath/Pentagram styled doom number, and he turns in a mysterious, understated performance on the ominous "Lord & Master". The haunting backing vocals of "The Seance" adds a creepy vibe to the heavy hitting arrangements, while the weaving, textured guitar riffs of the lengthy "The Folly of Faust" just sweep you off your feet as the intoxicating vocals of Williams infiltrate your senses.
The bonus tracks come from the bands EP, and are actually a bit heavier in nature. "We Are Forever" and "The Ancients" feature lumbering, crushing riffs with psychedelic, bluesy grooves, like a collision of Sabbath, Zeppelin, The Doors, and Grand Funk Railroad, while "Son of the Morning" is another one of those chilling, atmospheric slow boilers that this band seems so good at creating. "LoSt in the oDyssey" just screams vintage Pentagram, complete with some creepy vocals and killer riffs, and "Children of the Sun" pounds away with heavy riffs, crushing rhythms, and some tasty, '70s inspired blues rock guitar leads.
There's a lot of material here, but it's all worth your while. Many acts seem to be jumping on the whole '70s retro thing these days, but Brimstone Coven have come up with some fascinating sounds here that should appeal to many a rock & metal fan. Good stuff from a band that seemingly has a very bright future ahead of them.
01. Cosmic Communion
02. Behold, the Anunnaki
03. The Black Door
04. Blood On The Wall
05. The Grave
06. Lord & Master
08. The Seance
09. 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)