Brimstone Coven – Black Magic (2016)

West Virginia’s Brimstone Coven are another occult/doom rock act that cite everything from Sabbath to Zeppelin to The Mamas and The Poppas as influences. What’s interesting about these guys is the fact that they use three-part vocal harmonies, which we used to hear quite a bit in classic rock music. Listening to “As We Fall” right now definitely reminds me of several classic tunes that my mother and father used to enjoy and it’s assured that (aside from the horror natured lyrics, even though the old man loved Sabbath) they’d probably enjoy a disc like this one as well. You just don’t hear music like this anymore, and it has a production quality that literally feels like it came right out of that sixties/seventies golden era of music. There are still thick nudges of doom to be had, but this I more of a classic rock album that focuses mainly on the vocal melodies and choruses, when it’s not mesmerizing me with such catchy leads as can be found on “Beyond The Astral.” Trust me, that’s one song that you’ll never forget. It’s also one of the main reasons this album was brought to focus, as well as the catchy but unfortunately short “Black Unicorn.” As nice a chorus as it may be, I wish they could have beefed the piece a little more in the vein of many of these other cuts. To be honest, there’s not much here that isn’t five minutes or more and the fact that “Black Unicorn” barely encroaches three is a bit of a bizarre oddity to me. Still, it can’t be helped and it’s not too much of a deterrent as I’m making it out to be. There are nine chunky tracks here to make up for it, and each one of them delivers in the way that classic rock albums did. I mean, you can hear the influences here. Some of this shit goes way back to Thin Lizzy even, if not Cream, Pink Floyd and Mountain. Damn, talk about time-traveling.

Even if you’re not into the whole occult thing, there’s still enough classic rock and trip factor here for you to enjoy this one. The songs make for great singalongs, the melodies are certainly something you’ll hum, and there are some nice moments on the disc in which you can pull out an air-guitar. Some might not get the fact that the record is mastered in a style that might seem a little dated, could be compared to the dreaded “dad rock” millennial term and ultimately won’t appeal to them. I’d hope they’d find something in this classic and nearly forgotten sound, but that’s like asking for a miracle sometimes. In any case, those who know the sound will surely love it and think of it as a blast from the past and a well-needed refresher from the menagerie of derivative crap that gets released from rock and metal on an almost daily basis. It might sound a bit old, but there’s some real magic here and I have a good feeling that you’re going to be able to overlook the production as soon as you’ve noticed it for yourself. These guys are great and I hope we’ll get to hear more from them in the future.

(10 Tracks, 54:00)

8/10

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