Saturday, 7 May 2016

Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls

Coven - Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls
AKARMA Records - 2003 - Original Release MERCURY Records - 1969

Side A
Black Sabbath
White Witch Of Rose Hall
Coven In Charing Cross
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Pact With Lucifer
Choke, Thirst, Die

Side B
Wicked Woman
Dignitaries Of Hell
Satanic Mass

Since the 1970's black magic and occult themes are commonplace in rock music, but in the late 60's, Chicago's Coven were pioneers. 'Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls' was their debut album and contains many firsts. It is claimed that this is the first album to depict the sign of the devil horns and inverted crosses and to use the phrase "Hail, Satan" (how many metal bands owe them a debt?). While many bands of the era would use occult and black magic themes as an image it would appear Coven were the real deal. The album and their stage act courted controversy causing tours to be cancelled and the record banned in many places. The album came with a poster depicting the band conducting Satanic rites over a naked woman (lead singer Jinx?) on an alter with the lyrics to the songs and occult symbols on the reverse. The B side of the album features a 13 minute Satanic mass, another first I think, the words to which are on the lyric sheet should you want to join in.

An in-depth interview with lead singer Jinx Dawson can be found here, it's an interesting read.

The music is great, not early heavy metal as you might expect, but good psychedelic rock albeit with rather different subject matter. That said the Satanic Mass doesn't stand too many listenings. The full album can be heard on Spotify here and here's a YouTube clip of 'Black Sabbath:.......

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