A random one, this, and likely an album that few of you have heard of. I was up in the loft earlier, putting away my new Lawnmower Deth Kickstarter LP to keep it safe from prying 2 year-old hands and decided to have a flick through the old vinyl collection.
We don’t have a record player at the moment. It’s on the list for when we next move house and hopefully the kids are old enough to not try to play pizzas on it or anything.
Anyway, one of the albums that jumped out at me was Coven’s Blessed is the Black.
Released in 1988, I can’t remember where I got the album from. I’d guess I picked it up for 50p from a stall at the Newcastle Quayside Sunday market – that’s where I got a huge amount of my obscure vinyl. The cover’s a masterpiece of primary-coloured silliness, and the song titles must have drawn me in – “6669”, “Iron Dick”, “McDonaldland Massacre”… the sort of thing that was designed to appeal to a metal-mad 15 year-old.
Now, obviously, I couldn’t play the album again for the aforementioned reason so I had a quick Google and found somewhere I could download it. Obvioiusly, I’d not usually tell people to go out and download stuff but a) I already owned a copy and b) it’s a “dead” band/deleted album (though keep reading…) so I felt justified.
It was worth it. Oh, it was worth it.
I was astounded that I could still remember the words to so many of the songs. It’s dark, Satanic and silly in equal measure. You just get the feeling that this was a record never meant to be taken seriously – or maybe I’ve just grown up over the last 25 years.
Musically, it’s stood the test of time well. Guitars have that chainsaw edge to them, and the vocals are distorted yet easy to make out. It’s a thrash album of the purest form, including clean instrumental breaks and intros.
Maybe it’s just the fact that it brings back good memories, but I love this album.
As a result I was even happier to find, as part of the research for this article, that the band are still going. They re-formed in 2012, and renamed themselves Coven 6669 due to legal issues over the ownership of the original moniker. They’re Seattle-based so if you live around there and get the chance to see them live, then let me know!
Their 1993 album Boneless Christian was re-released recently and you can grab it for $10 plus shipping from their webstore. I’ve never heard it, but I’m tempted… Blessed is the Black was re-released in 2013, but I can’t find any mention of it in their store so I guess it was a limited run.
Better news – the band just got back to me and they’re working on a new album! Thrash never dies! :)
The video below is from their website and dated as “circa 1987” which explains the Grud-awful camera-work… There’s a ton of other (better quality and more recent) ones on the official site. Drummer Neal Babbitt has also asked me to share his YouTube playlist with you all… so here it is!