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Brimstone Coven – The Woes Of A Mortal Earth

Brimstone Coven
The Woes Of A Mortal Earth
by Matt Bozenda at 06 September 2020, 8:21 PM

There are plenty of snot-nosed cynics out there who will tell you through a cloud of their own cartoon breath that rock is dead. You’re either going to have to agree with them on the chance that they’ll go away, or you’ve got a debate on your hands and possibly all over the front of your shirt. In any case, they aren’t to be believed; there are plenty of acts out there still flying that old weatherbeaten banner on the battlefield of music. Whether it’s the stand-by radio darlings or those moldy old classic rock bands that never got the proper break, like LEAF HOUND and THE GROUNDHOGS and SIR LORD BALTIMORE, yes even they live on in the influenced sound of many of today’s rock and metal musicians.

Take, for example, the West Virginia trio of BRIMSTONE COVEN, styling themselves as ‘Dark Occult Rock’, and their brand new release, "The Woes Of A Mortal Earth", which most definitely lives up to the billing. This is the band’s second album as a three-piece, and is a further departure from the more straightlaced Doom/Sludge metal they recorded earlier in the decade with Metal Blade Records. The previous heaviness relied on firepower and volume. Here it is much more restrained, subdued even.

Track one, "The Inferno", contains a sound of such steady rocking Doom that it compares with the opener on BUDGIE’s debut. The album moves into a slower pace afterwards, and in "When The World Is Gone" the dual vocals really give the song a haunting cadence. That continues aptly for "Live With A Ghost", except this time set against a slightly heavier tone. The speed picks up a little for "The Darker Half" and has distinct old world roots, somewhere when classic rock met the new wave of British heavy metal.

A lumbering intro for "Secrets Of The Earth" belies the first real headbanging that can be maintained on the album, and on the shortest track therein. This gives way to the album’s longest song, the powerfully heavy "Song Of Whippoorwill". The vintage discipline is masterful through the smallest detail, as this full-length release has just six tracks and is barely over the thirty-five minute mark. Quick, dirty, classic Doom Rock.

In their own words, the band claims influence from the likes of BLACK SABBATH, PENTAGRAM, LED ZEPPELIN, and PINK FLOYD. There’s something to that, as they certainly retain the early sort of Hard Rock that would form the nucleus of the Metal bands to come, but this album does lack a certain exaltation that those older bands had. There’s not really any place for this album to hang its hat, so to speak, except on the hook they make for themselves. Despite their uniquely vintage sound, anyone seeking an Avant-Garde act will have to look elsewhere.

So, it won’t break any speed records, it doesn’t dig into new ground, and it isn’t soul-crushingly heavy, but there is an intensity to "The Woes Of A Mortal Earth" that is very real. Not explosively intense, but intense like the crucible of a forge. It does fall more on the Hard Rock scale than for Metal, strictly speaking, but press play during a thunderstorm or a dark game of a certain tabletop RPG, and you may find that BRIMSTONE COVEN has made an excellent soundtrack for it.

Musicianship: 8
Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Inferno
2. When The World Is Gone
3. Live With A Ghost
4. The Darker Half
5. Secrets Of The Earth
6. Song Of Whippoorwill
David Trik – Drums
Corey Roth – Guitars, Vocals
Andrew D’Cagna – Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Ripple Music


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