Moon Coven ‘Amanita Kingdom’ CD/LP/DD 2014

Moon Coven 'Amanita Kingdom'The five killer tracks that make up this mini-album are insane. Insane in that “dude, that’s insane,” kinda way, where you can’t quite figure out what right bands have to still be making music from 1971, especially music this authentic-sounding and righteous.

I hear and read tonnes of cynicism about modern bands cranking out retro sounds for the dollar incentives, but read even more about how the current glut of Sabbath/Tull/Pentagram rip-off merchants are fucking up heavy metal music forever. How could you hope to figure out the better band between Uncle Acid, Purson, Jex Toth, Blood Ceremony etc.? Play guess-the-influence and pick which has the greater grab-bag of influences?

No, of course not. The reason all of those bands rule and find endless airtime on your stereo and mine is because the sound they’re jamming works. It just works. Better known bands from Sleep to Cathedral and back again have re-fried and re-packaged the same five Sabbath albums for decades now, while the newer crop of bands are no different. Moon Coven have an undeniable Brummie stench about their sound, and I, for one, say good for them.

It’s not all about those four wretched souls and their devil music – other influences bang around Moon Coven’s ‘Amanita Kingdom’, from Kyuss to Nebula, Soundgarden to Mudhoney, Monster Magnet to any other desert-dry, tombstone-heavy shaggy rock outfit you claim to be the true inheritors of Sabbath’s legacy.

To the music: ‘Ruler Of Dust’ opens with a prime slice of fuzzed-out Advanced Iommics, before dropping into a Sleep-y doom number, all rolling drums and crashing cymbals. ‘Amanita Kingdom I’ is another sluggish, bruising effort with a killer solo they lay on top of the tracks’ eminently hummable riff. The solo sounds like it was played through a Dictaphone or down a telephone line, all crackles and squalls – thumbs up on the shredding too, dudes.

Amanita Kingdom II’ dives headfirst into the sandier side of Sabbath worship, first instigated by some tall ginger dude a couple of decades ago (whatever happened to him?) It could quite easily fit on ‘…And the Circus Leaves Town’, such is the refined quality they bring to all the buzz ‘n’ fuzz going on. It helps that the guitar tone is virtually identical to Mr. Brody Dalle’s too.

East’, which follows, is another corker, this time sounding a bit like the Sword due to its swinging rhythm, squealing solo and far-off vocal (have these comparisons grown tiresome yet?). Closer ‘We Were Conquerors’ is the real gem here: an uber-lo-fi sounding guitar opens the track, jingling and jangling and chiming before a serpentine bass part joins beneath, pumping the track forward toward its Morricone-esque coda.

It’s the highlight because I expect more of that from their next release: Sabbath worship isn’t really a viable career path anymore, such is the competition around at the moment. File this record, and this band, under ‘ones to watch’.

Label: Transubstans Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

Scribed by: Ross Horton