José’s Roadburn Band Of The Week: Coven

By on 1 November 2016


Roadburn is still a few months away, but the first couple of announcements have gotten us in such a state that we figured there aren’t enough months in a whole year, let alone the five and a bit left for Europe’s finest underground event, to cover all the unspeakably amazing acts that will be descending upon Tilburg in April. Sure, we could do a Band Of The Day, but we’ve also got a magazine to put together and stuff.

Anyway, it’s impossible to not start off by what is arguably the biggest and most important name in this or any other possible or imaginary line-up, a name that wasn’t even among the most suggested or desired ones because these days it mostly exists in the realm of imagination, born-too-late-syndrome delirium or drug-fueled nightmares. That’s right, Coven will be one of the the main attractions for Roadburn 2017, and if upon discovering this news you didn’t gasp with a mixture of amazement, disbelief and anxiety, then we presume it’s your first day stepping into the world of heavy music, and we warmly welcome you. We should turn you to bands like Black Sabbath or Metallica soon, too.

Coven have a hell of a lot to answer for, and not just musically. Kudos to the late metal deity Dio for making it popular among our musical culture, but Coven members were already doing the sign of the horns on the cover of their terrifying and deeply influential 1969 debut, ‘Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls’ (a record whose first song is called  ‘Black Sabbath’, at a time when a certain band of that name were preparing to release their very first single, a cover of a song called ‘Evil Woman’. Is the devil playing with us all the time or what?). And meaning it, too – Coven was never about any sort of pantomine or shock value, they have always been the real thing, led by the original and fearsome wicked woman, Jinx Dawson. Though the still mysterious singer, arguably heavy metal’s greatest frontwoman, had a long period of deatachment from the public eye, the appeal and impact of her performances and of the unhallowed Coven triptych (‘Witchcraft…’, 1971’s ‘Coven’ and 1974’s ‘Blood On The Snow’) has remained unchanged. Listening to everything that was going on in those records and remembering/discovering, depending on your age, Jinx’s integrity and exploits throughout the years, it’s clear that Coven were not only instrumental in the creation of what is known today as occult rock, but also of the entire heavy metal culture and the development of rock music into a darker and more powerful force.

Now, after decades of battles with record labels, established religion and general semi-anonymity, it took the summoning power of Roadburn to stir the almighty Coven back into existence. Before the announcement, Jinx said:

Roadburn Festival’s intrepid ring master, Walter, hath stirred us from our Coven lair. We shall be performing a musickal ritual for the first time in many ages. We are wickedly delighted to travel to the Netherlands for this very special festival concert, and to bring our musickal form of Witchcraft once again to the live stage,

…and we’re sure you just read that inside your head in her own intimidating voice.

You have until April 20th to decide whether you’re brave enough to face Coven once again. We suspect the sky will be dark and unexplainable rumblings will be heard from deep down below throughout the entire day.

WORDS: José Carlos Santos

Coven will play on Thursday, April 20 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Roadburn Festival 2017 will run for four days from Thursday, April 20th to Sunday, April 23rd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. You can still get your tickets here.

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