'Worship New Gods'
(Shadow Kingdom Records)
This is the Michigan Coven [Coven 13 nowadays - ED], not to be confused with the Pacific Northwest or Chicago bands that used the same moniker. Also up front you should know this is a re-release of an album the band released in 1987, but it was only ever released on vinyl! So does this fall into the hidden or forgotten gem category, I would say the answer is yes it does. I find their music very cool, quite hypnotic and leisurely paced but still heavy metal and not really slowing down into the doom regions. The vocalist has this very obscure, laid back trippy vocal delivery much of the time and I really like that, he does turn up the emotion now and then and even has an epic Norse (reflecting the lyric imagery) flair about his vocals. Now that I think about it I might have to take the doom comment back as now and then Candlemass comes to mind. But I must say Coven on this album have a sound of their own. I mean I can list a couple bands just to give you an idea of the type of melodic, atmospheric heavy metal they play. Some bands like Manilla Road, Omen, Cirith Ungol come to mind as having a vaguely similar sound and more than anything probably a similar pacing to their music. I'm not saying this was the ultimate find of all finds, but I am damn happy someone dusted off this cool album and brought it back out of obscurity for us all to enjoy and give the album some new life. This is my first meeting with Shadow Kingdom Records, going by this release and looking over their roster of releases I hope to be hearing again from this label and soon!