One look at the cover of Black Magic, given the band name is Brimstone Coven, and I was ready to get my witchy on. This album is the West Virginian outfit’s first release through Metal Blade Records. Their first two self-released efforts were a self-titled EP in 2012 and full album II in 2013.
From the get-go, my expectations were well and truly met. These guys have a serious late 60’s – early 70’s sound, and are channelling Black Sabbath like there’s no tomorrow. Many of the songs have psychedelic, occult overtones, and made me think I should have been tripping out, dancing around in a field and making the odd sacrifice to a tree or something. There are some songs that have pretty cool, stoner-rock riffs going on, which tend to wipe out the Wiccan worship vibe and let you enjoy the groove. There are a few Led Zeppelin influenced guitar moments going on too, which I enjoyed.
Most of the songs tend to have a pretty slow, eerie, almost drone-like tone to them, and yet these guys add some very 60’s sounding three part harmonies to the vocals. Their voices work well together, and on The Eldest Tree they almost have an Alice In Chains quality to them.
A couple of standout tracks are Beyond the Astral – which has a very early-70’s sounding low, rocking riffs; still the fairly sparse sounding vocals, with nice harmonies adds to the trippy vibe of this album. Again there’s a definite Sabbath influenced sound, but heads a bit more into Zep-land with the guitar solo. Slow Death is even more Led Zep sounding and features a slightly louder effort with the vocals. Nice bass work. Really has the sound qualities of something recorded back in the 70’s – in a good way!
Overall, this album has some interesting moments, but after a while it does start to sound a bit samey. Although I guess if you are going to take the psychedelic/stoner influences literally, you may not notice!*
*The author and Sentinel Daily do not advocate the use of recreational drugs for the purposes of enhancing your musical experience.