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Brimstone Coven: Black Magic

These days, if a band wants to get my IMMEDIATE attention, all they have to do is dish out some '70s inspired heavy blues/doom laden guitar riffs, tons of groove, a touch of psychedelia...and some cowbell! The trick is though to have solid songs to back up what is otherwise a 'sound' that is attempted by so many bands these days who are trying to recapture the glory days of the early heavy rock scene. Enter West Virginia's Brimstone Coven, who wowed this writer with their self-titled Metal Blade Records release back in 2014, and have returned nearly two years later with this monster follow-up, titled Black Magic. Bringing along their obvious influences, such as Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Spooky Tooth, Grand Funk Railroad, The Doors, Coven, and Lucifer's Friend, the band add in a creepy, occult vibe to their mix of doom, hard rock, proto-metal, and psychedelia.

Comprised of 'Big John' Williams (vocals), Corey Roth (guitar), Andrew D'Cagna (bass), and Justin Wood (drums), Brimstone Coven have delivered here 10 instant classics that rock hard, grab you with hook laden grooves, and mystify with their vintage sounding goodness. The opening title track has the meaty thump of Grand Funk but with the early doom vibe of Black Sabbath or Pentagram, while "Black Unicorn" unleashes evil lyrical content over propulsive rhythms and raging guitar riffs. The more prog/psych inflected "Beyond the Astral" is where we hear the first vestiges of the more adventurous side of the band (Spooky Tooth-meets-Lucifer's Friend-meets-Uriah Heep), which leads into the slightly folky & pastoral "As We Fall". With lush acoustic guitars and a bluesy electric solo, this one is pretty different than most of its siblings, but further adds to the nice variety that is found throughout Black Magic. Williams' haunting vocals glide over mounds of doom riffs on "Upon the Mountain" (and more cowbell!!), while the upbeat "Slow Death" is like a collision between Blue Cheer and Pentagram, with some groovy rhythms and loads of meaty guitar licks. After the headbanging dirge that is "The Seers", the band unleash the dreamy "The Plague", another dip back into the late '60s psychedelic scene with references to the occult darlings Coven. Similar psych flavors pop up again on "Forsaken", but mixed with some fuzz soaked doom riffs, and the album closes with the heavy bruiser "The Eldest Tree", another Sabbath/Pentagram styled thumper with some monstrous riffs courtesy of Roth.

While it's early here in 2016, it feels pretty safe to say that Black Magic is going to be a much talked about hard rock/doom/occult release this year. If you love vintage heavy sounds, this one's a keeper folks!!

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!


Track Listing
1. Black Magic
2. Black Unicorn
3. Beyond the Astral
4. As We Fall
5. Upon the Mountain
6. Slow Death
7. The Seers
8. The Plague
9. Forsaken
10. The Eldest Tree

Added: January 25th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1364
Language: english

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