Brimstone Coven – Brimstone Coven by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/Label: Metal Blade Records
Released: 2014
Buy Album: http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/band/brimstone-coven
Band Website: http://www.brimstonecoven.com/

Brimstone Coven album cover Band line-up:

John Williams – vocals
Corey Roth – guitar
Andrew D’Cagna – bass
Justin Wood – drums

Tracklisting:

1. Cosmic Communion
2. Behold, the Anunnaki
3. The Black Door
4. Blood on the Wall
5. The Grave
6. Lord & Master
7. Vying
8. The Seance
9. Hades Hymn
10. The Folly of Faust
11. Intro (Bonus Track)
12. We Are Forever (Bonus Track)
13. The Ancients (Bonus Track)
14. Son of the Morning (Bonus Track)
15. Lost in the Odyssey (Bonus Track)
16. Children of the Sun (Bonus Track)
17. Outro (Bonus Track)

Review:

So ‘retro rock’ keeps on becoming more of a thing. Because everyone wants to riff like Zeppelin and pave the way like Black Sabbath; everyone wants to try and capture a little bit of that enduring magic. Including West Virginia four-man crew Brimstone Coven. Well, coming over a bit like the aforementioned Zep, a bit psychedelic groove, “Cosmic Communion” is a pretty decent stab at that whole vibe.

After that self-titler ‘Brimstone Coven’ suffers from a touch of mid-way monotony. Songs that are four minutes long start to feel like ten, and not in a good way. Like the bum-groove of someone who’s spent too long comfortably melding with the sofa, ‘Brimstone Coven’ spends a lot of time sitting in a musical dip. And when it does throw up a time change or solo to try and get your attention, it’s often too late. Your brain’s clicked off; already gone into shuffle mode. We need a bit of flair here, or a flare.

I can’t decide if “The Black Door” falls into that hole – it kind of teeters on the edge a little as the weird sort of occult chanty vocals start, but ends up as a fairly solid number of stripped back moodiness. And “The Grave” and “Blood On The Wall” merit that old friend of repeat listening. Sitting at the bottom of it though is “Hades Hymn” which is a minute and a half of cliché ‘atmosphere’ and no substance.

A combination of new album and the re-release of the band’s debut EP, ‘Brimstone Coven’ is sadly just too much of not that much of anything. Whilst the intention to provide new fans with a proper introduction is nice, 17 tracks feels like so much filler, and perhaps most disappointing, a good chunk of that can be pinned on the new material. Now many a band has been outclassed by its earlier material, but not many have had it happen on the very same album.

But bonus tracks “The Ancients” and the magnificent “Son Of The Morning” are probably up there with the best of what ‘Brimstone Coven’ has to offer, the latter vocally taking control in a way not much seen previously.

Those tracks show Brimstone Coven as being a band with promise. The new stuff certainly keeps some of that. What we need now is for Brimstone Coven to whip up a killer concoction of both those elements, and maybe they’ll know a touch of that old school magic.

Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
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