Seattle's COVEN [metal] remain as one of the earlier and more notorious shock-comedy-Thrash bands. Originally just named Coven, they formed in the mid 1980's just north of Seattle Washington. The classic lineup featured Dean Babbitt & Paul Hash on Guitars, Neal Babbitt on drums, Gary Peebles on bass and Jay Clark on vocals. They recorded and produced their debut 'Blessed Is The Black' between June and October of 1986. The album was eventually released in 1988 on the Ever Rat label. Musically, the band offered straight ahead Thrash mixed with some of the the most vile and offensive lyrics imaginable. No target was spared the bands caustic brand of humour but a particular favorite seemed to be organized religion... and more specifically Christianity.
The debut album was marketed and distributed by Medusa and soon a second self-produced album, 1989's 'Death Walks Behind You', appeared as the band jumped directly to the Medusa label. The lyrics were toned down very slightly for this release and the band enjoyed small-scale touring in North America.
A long delay ensued and a third album, 'Boneless Christian', was released in 1993 on the Ever Rat label in conjunction with the Red Light group. At this point founding drummer Neal Babbitt had been replaced by Jason Moody. Bassist Gary Peebles also left as the band trimmed down to a four piece with Dean Babbit handling the bass on the album.
Now after a long hiatus Coven is back and known as COVEN [metal]. Due to a legal dispute over the name, they decided to add the moniker [metal] to make sure they were not confused with any other entity. But they are back, they are pissed and they are sicker than ever!
Introduced into the assembly is long time collaborator, The Underbishop as well as local Seattle veterans Jamie Carter & Eric Close. Now they are ready to prove to the world once again that Coven (even under a new name) is as brutal and funny as ever and still Satanic as Hell!
Dean Babbitt - Guitar
Neal Babbitt - Drums
Jamie Carter - Vocals
Eric Close - Bass
The Underbishop - Guitar
The band recorded three albums between 1985 & 1993 Blessed Is The Black, Death Walks Behind You & Boneless Christian.
These continue to be international classics because of their blending of several metal genres and unique style.
1988 - Blessed is the Black - Ever Rat Records
1989 - Death Walks Behind You - Medusa / Enigma Records
1993 - Boneless Christian - Ever Rat Records
"Thrash never sounded so evil and funny!"
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Seattle, WA will always be remembered by people in the rock music fraternity as the birthplace of gr...Seattle, WA will always be remembered by people in the rock music fraternity as the birthplace of grunge and early progressive/power metal of which the former became a widely followed religion worldwide in the nineties while the latter sure enjoyed good success towards the end of the eighties. Little do they know that the city also spawned a devilish fiend and its name was Coven. Wicked, funny, diabolic, inhumane, perverted and demented are but a few terms that pretty much summed up the songwriting prowess. One look at the album cover of “Blessed is the black” and you could be sure this isn’t going to be conventional hard rock singing about love, compromises and family issues. While they did not break any new grounds musically as much of it could still be dubbed thrash with just a few leanings towards doom, power and even black metal, their lyrical content certainly raised a lot more eyebrows than what the band may have even expected themselves. Coven sure did release one stunner of a debut album with an absolute unrestrained approach.
Before I got my hands on this record, I had heard a lot of good things about it if not convincing enough to give it a shot sometime. Upon playing the title track the first thing that caught my attention was the production and I thought to myself “For the year 1988, this production sounds as raw as an early eighties Venom or Bulldozer demo”.
After the main riff which sounded quite captivating, the real show stealer stepped in and he’s the maverick vocalist Jay Clarke. Holy crap BATMAN!!!! This was one of the most vicious vocals I had ever heard; when I thought I’d heard it all. The guy sounded almost like he was standing at the altar, screaming his lungs out to deliver an antireligious sermon. His vocal talent is definitely laudable because of his ability to bark out guttural grows and throwing in a few Tom Araya like shrieks as well. I still wonder if he ever had to undergo surgery on his vocal chords. The rest of the pack certainly had their basics in place. Good catchy riffs, controlled and precise drumming for the most part and tight basslines lay the foundation.
As mentioned earlier, while most of the songs here are rooted in thrash, there are various other genres that can be heard here. Perverted humor is inevitably heard on the tracks “6669” and “Iron Dick” whereas crunchy thrashers include “Burn The Cross”, “The Monger” and the title track. “Rock This Church” is an absolute heavy metal anthem with that brilliant American power metal influenced main riff and a maniacal chorus that literally despises and desecrates the church of God while the band hits top gear on “McDonaldland Massacre” reeking of old school crossover and crust in contrast with the former.
The biggest surprise present on this album are the two power ballads “Another Life” and “Out Of The Grave” which are extremely doom metal in nature and sound nothing like any of the other tracks. With clean vocals and acoustic sections thrown in to good effect, these two tracks provide a good balance. The album finisher “Creature of Duty (and My Duty is Death)” has got to have one of the best song titles in business and is yet again another top notch thrasher almost along the lines of English thrash veterans Deathwish.
It finally made sense to me, why this record received generally favorable reviews. It sounded extremely original and the songwriting (despite the sick humor) sounded very mature and controlled. Not very often would you come across an album that explores practically most of the genres in heavy metal, but if you wish to experience a whole new variety of thrash metal, then look no further. In retrospect to the high speed antics of Dark Angel, Slayer and Wehrmacht this one provides a refreshing change and is highly recommended!!!
- cravingforvenom, August 2nd, 2010
" I guarentee that if you can hunt this down, you'll be hooked for good."
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Coven aren't a band that many people know of, which is a crying shame because this debut is one of t...Coven aren't a band that many people know of, which is a crying shame because this debut is one of the finest examples of thrash you get. It almost sounds like a bastard cross of Helloween and Kreator in some places, but don't let any negative thoughts cross your mind because this album packs a serious punch.The record opens up with the title track, with a brilliant and rather epic riff that picks up pace almost straight away with yet another pounding riff. The title track alone give this album its merit, the intensity of the music doesn't let up for a second....
Set List varies but always includes the fan favorites:
Fuckin A Nun
PDF RiderCOVEN Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.