Brimstone Coven – S/T – CD/LP/DD 2014

Brimstone Coven - S/TThere is nothing flashy and hip about the West-Virginia quartet Brimstone Coven. They play occult rock in the vein of Black Sabbath and Pentagram that won the Metal Blade label over already. With their self-titled debut they probably want to convince you just as much. Seventeen songs that demonstrate their sound should do the trick.

There is something about this band. Not only do they sound a lot more unholy than their peers, there’s also a clarity to their sound, that makes them stand out. The band of course doesn’t have a vocalist that warbles on about alien infections or bites off bats heads, still it makes them stand out. The band is in fact the brain child of guitar player Corey Roth, who gathered a band of excellent musicians around him to produce some great music.

Heavy, clean riffs sound through the night. Immediately you get this feeling, with this premonition, something special is going to happen. The vocals are executed by “Big John” Williams. His howl is like that of a high priest, proceeding over the rituals. There’s a tiny note of a crooner to his warm voice, which makes Cosmic Communion just a bit more demonic. The repetitive music gets the listener entranced easily on Behold, The Anunnaki. Though still feeling occult, the band plays hot and funky on The Black Door, with vocals mixed as if it was recorded in the halls of a monastery. `

The band sounds foreboding, occult and heavy in a way not many acts will. The clear, wailing guitar sounds are like waves that carry the sound. The atmospheric, but clean and calculated style of music of Brimstone Coven never gets boring, listening to the enormous pile of songs on this record. The tracks are filled with little details that make them intriguing. From the soaring The Grave to the high paced Vying. The songs all have an eerie feeling in common, which you could find in bands like The Devil’s Blood’ in the past. Brimstone Coven never lets go of their tightly controlled format and rhythm. The reverberating baselines creep onward in the same, continuous pace. That does give songs like The Folly Of Faust a majestic quality.

The Seance stands out. Though holding on to haunting doom melodies, the song breaks free in prog-like solo work. This part of the track sounds clean and playful. Back to its regular trajectory, we find the vocals hidden under the layers of guitar, creating a secretive vibe. The same goes for the slow-burning Lord & Master, which takes about four minutes to ignite in what can only be described as primitive blast beats. Truly, this record has only interesting songs to offer.

As a bonus there’s also the first EP of the band added to this record. That means five songs with an intro and outro. The doom sounds on this are firstly much more raw sounding and that actually gives a different energy to the powerful songs. We Are Forever sounds more dirty and sleazy, where The Ancients becomes a bit of a throwback to the early days thanks to the Dio-like lyrics. The spiralling riffs soar and shake the erstwhile controlled sound. Think more Led Zeppelin than Sabbath, though the riff that carries Son Of The Morning feels a lot like Iron Man. Even that track turns into a wild jam along the way, thanks to the frantic drumming of Justin Wood.

The hazy Lost In The Odyssey demonstrates a tapestry of sound, creating some heavy psychedelic rock. Combining that dreamy vibe with some occult energy, the band crafts an excellent song with Children Of The Sun, summoning the same magic atmosphere as a Ghost does.

Brimstone Coven is an excellent band and this package will keep you listening for a long time.

Label: Metal Blade Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter

Scribed by: Guido Segers