Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls

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Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls
Coven-Witchcraft Destroys Minds.jpg
Studio album by
Label Mercury
Producer Bill Traut
Coven chronology
Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]

Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls is the debut studio album by the American rock band Coven. Released in 1969, it was unusual in that it dealt with overtly occult and satanic themes and was removed from the market soon after its release due to controversy. However it remains a classic of its genre, and in some ways set groundbreaking trends for later rock bands. This album marked the first appearance in music of the sign of the horns, inverted crosses, and the phrase Hail Satan. Today, these are characteristics of the occult and heavy metal genres. [3] According to rock journalist Lester Bangs, "in England lie unskilled laborers like Black Sabbath, which was hyped as a rockin' ritual celebration of the Satanic mass, something like England's answer to Coven". [4] As a further coincidence, Coven's bass guitarist and co-writer (Michael Gregory Osborne) is credited as "Oz Osborne", and the opening track is "Black Sabbath".

Album collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format widely used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Coven (band) American rock band

Coven is an American rock band with occult lyrics formed in the late 1960s. They had a top 40 hit in 1971 with the song "One Tin Soldier", the theme song of the movie Billy Jack.


One of the songwriters, James Vincent, appears with the name "Jim Donlinger" on the album. He actually was not a member of the band (prior to this he was in the band Aorta), but was asked by Bill Traut, Coven's producer (and founder of Dunwich Records, whose logo also appears on the album), to write, arrange and co-produce the album together with Traut. Vincent describes the event in negative terms, as a "bizarre album project":

Aorta were an American psychedelic rock band from Chicago who recorded two albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

William R. "Bill" Traut was an American jazz musician, rock music producer, manager and record label executive. He co-founded the Dunwich and Wooden Nickel record labels, and produced The Shadows of Knight, The American Breed, the Siegel-Schwall Band, and Styx, among others.

Dunwich Records was an independent American record label started by Bill Traut, Eddie Higgins and George Badonsky in Chicago in 1965. Dunwich was also a production company which licensed recordings to other labels, including Atlantic, Atco, Columbia, Mercury and SGC. The label was primarily known for the release of singles from the emerging Chicago rock scene in the 1960s. Only two artists, the Shadows of Knight and Amanda Ambrose, released albums on the label.

"Bill brought me a large box full of books about witchcraft and related subjects. He told me to read them and start writing some songs ... Sometime before the sun came up, I had completely written all the material requested of me for the entire album ... Coven also contributed four songs to the project." [5]

Track listing

1."Black Sabbath"Donlinger3:32
2."White Witch of Rose Hall"Donlinger3:08
3."Coven in Charing Cross"Donlinger4:04
4."For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge"Dawson, Ross, Wilkerson, Osborne4:41
5."Pact with Lucifer"Donlinger, Wilkerson3:32
6."Choke, Thirst, Die"Donlinger3:32
7."Wicked Woman"Dawson, Ross, Wilkerson, Osborne3:01
8."Dignitaries of Hell"Donlinger4:09
9."Portrait"Dawson, Ross, Osborne2:37
10."Satanic Mass"Traut13:19
Total length:45:55


The lead vocalist in popular music is typically the member of a group or band whose voice is the most prominent in a performance where multiple voices may be heard. The lead singer either leads the vocal ensemble, or sets against the ensemble as the dominant sound. In vocal group performances, notably in soul and gospel music, and early rock and roll, the lead singer takes the main vocal part, with a chorus provided by other band members as backing vocalists.

Guitar fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.


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  1. 1 2 Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Coven | Biography & History". AllMusic . Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  2. Allmusic review
  3. "How Coven Pioneered Occult Rock with Witchcraft Destroy Minds & Reaps Souls". NPR . October 25, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  4. Lester Bangs, in a 17 September 1970 review in Rolling Stone Magazine
  5. Vincent, James, Space Traveler, A Musician's Odyssey, 2003, p 43.