I actually just saw these recent Metal Blade signees about a month ago at Days of the Doomed IV, where I was knocked out by their exuberance, their raw power – and their punctuality! (They took the stage promptly at 3 pm.) Not sure if that performance led to their new record deal or if it was already in the bag, which might explain why they didn’t have any tuneage for purchase. As it stands, their label debut is an amalgamation of their two previous independent releases, spanning 17 tracks in all. Hey, considering that I didn’t own any of their discography beforehand, I certainly can’t complain… and if ya dig this whole retrofied “occult rock” movement, you’ll definitely wanna add Brimstone Coven to yer collection!
Despite a somewhat understated stage presence—I can only assume they’ll invest in some evil robes before landing the inevitable support slot on a major tour—these cats bring it musically in a big way, combining the melodic spook-rock of Coven or even early Blue Oyster Cult with the proto-doom of Pentagram. And in the vocal department, they’ve got three guys who combine forces for some memorable choruses, their leader being some 6’8” giant with the voice of Frank DiMino. (See what I did there?)
It’s hard to choose a favourite among so many great tracks, but “Son of the Morning,” a so-called bonus track from their debut EP, remains a live staple for good reason. It’s a bit lighter than most, a lazy, meandering verse that only adds more impact to the crunchy chorus riff—and I’ll be damned if I don’t hear shades of Sabbath in the instrumental interlude just past the mid-way mark. Let’s just say the quality in Milwaukee dipped considerably until much later in the evening!
Not sure if this has been remastered or anything, but the sound is just as clean and crisp as I remember from seeing them live. Hey, if it wasn’t technically a reissue, I’d probably put this one in my year-end Top 10…
…and y’know what, I still might.