Brimstone Coven – Black Magic (Metal Blade)

Genre: Occult Rock

Has the whole ‘occult rock’ thing been done to death? Listening to Brimstone Coven’s Beyond the Astral or The Seers, you might think so: they plod along nicely, sound ‘authentic’ but don’t really conjure the otherworldly atmosphere you crave from this kind of music – or indeed the groove that makes this Sabbathian style (usually) so compelling.

Quite frankly, much of Brimstone Coven’s third full-length sounds tired, Corey Roth’s riffs often lacking the potency that could have brought its songs life.

However, when the West Virginia outfit take a more psychedelic turn, they’re instantly more, well, ‘magical’. Forsaken and The Plague are the best examples of this, employing three-part harmonies to beautiful effect, while the trance-doom of closer, The Eldest Tree, is a hypnotic slab of heaviness that Sleep would be proud of.

Essentially, Brimstone Coven are a decent act – especially vocally – but they haven’t yet crystallised their sound, or realised what they are best at. A frustrating opus then, though not without some charm.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Magic Roundabout