Coven, the Brit metal inspired beasts from the East are hard at work at their full length debut album, due out in 2018. In the meantime though they’ve decided to come out swinging hard with their first EP The Advent. The band’s mission statement is clear: “We want to retain our Japanese identity and originality, we want to bring our own Japanese metal to the world.” And what does that mean exactly? Well within these 4 tracks one can easily place some of their inspirations; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, etc. However that never takes the forefront of their music, instead they carve their own swath into the scene by never attempting to replicate other old school/old school inspired metal acts. This is all Coven being Coven from start to finish.
The album’s opening track “Brave Warriors” gives you a pretty decent idea of what to expect from the rest; sick, shrieking guitars, slick drumming and groovy yet anvil heavy bass. The chorus is a little flat but the blend of English and Japanese lyrics is a nice change of pace from the usual metal fare. “Karma” is a little more of the same truth be told but it does show even greater emphasis on the technical skill put into the guitar, bass, and drums. The album doesn’t truly take off until “Wings of Glory”. The album’s third track kicks off and really lights a fire under your ass. “Wings of Glory” is arguably their strongest song, fast and furious from start to finish with a seriously undeniable heavy groove throughout. The final track “Scream For Tomorrow” is also a heavy contender for that claim, but the slow build up until it really gets going takes a little bit too long to get lit. It’s like when you hear “November Rain” in 2017 totally sober – like “yeah I get it with the slow mo but kick it into the good parts already”. That being said, the final track does just that around three minutes in but with the song just barely crossing the six minute mark, it’s iffy if the juice is worth the squeeze especially considering how amped up “Wings of Glory” gets you just before it.
The long and short of it is this, the EP is a solid “pretty good”. If you aren’t a fan of 70’s-80’s metal laden with solos and kick ass bass lines, this EP probably won’t sell you by it’s own merit alone. However if you enjoy legit musicianship, tight composition and have a wee bit of patience, then this EP is up your alley. I include the patience part not because this EP needs to grow on you, for most it won’t need to, you’ll love it right out of the gate. I say that because this 4 track sample of their potential won’t blast your face off alone BUT it WILL keep the name Coven on your radar until the full length comes out. The Advent shows strong promise for what Coven is actually capable of, even if a there are still a few minor kinks to work out along the way, it’s a pretty good first exposure to the band and I’d definitely suggest giving at least the last two tracks a listen to spark your interest for the soon to be full album.
3.Wings of Glory
4.Scream For Tomorrow
Akihiro Ito- Guitars, Compostion, Other
TAKA- Bass, Vocals
Rating: 3 outta 5 axes
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Written by Ken Kaiser for Bloodrock Media on September 18, 2017