Tuesday 18 May 2021



If you like your doom stonerized and with a ritualistic spiritual vibe then you can't go far wrong by tapping into the grooves brought to sacrificial altar by Malmo based Swedish doomsters Moon Coven. The band will be no strangers to those of you out there with your fingers on the pulse of the underground scene as the band have impressed us before, first with their three song EP, "Amanita Kingdom" and then again with their full length self-titled debut "Moon Coven". Its been a while since "Moon Coven" was released but good things are worth waiting for and the bands new release "Slumber Wood" (Ripple Music) is definitely something you would class as a "good thing"

Opening track "Further" harks back to an earlier period in Moon Coven's development in that it employs those classic stoner doom dynamics of slow low and heavy bass and guitar refrains bolstered by pummeling, pounding percussion and monotonic, but nevertheless melodic, vocals that have become Moon Coven's trademark.  It is second song "Ceremony" that first starts to show us a glimpses of why those six years of hard work have not been wasted. The song does not deviate too far from the bands usual stoner doom blueprint, those riffs are still a dominant force and those drums still pound and pummel, but there is a more melodic and harmonious feel to everything going on here, a feel that is further enhanced by the totally unexpected blues drenched guitar solo that erupts out of the heaviness at around the songs half way mark. "Potbelly Hill" is up next and again it is a song driven by big resounding riffs but again Moon Coven don't let things become a relentless dirge the band cleverly injecting little snippets of post rock texturing and psych like colorings into the proceedings to lighten things up. "Eye of the Night" is probably the nearest Moon Coven will ever get to writing an all out hard rock song while "A Tower of Silence" shows the bands more experimental side. "Bahgsu Nag" follows and is somewhat of a departure for the band in that it has a more indie/alternative feel, it is also a song that forces Desert Psychlist into confessing that there have been times, up to and including this song, where we have been hearing shades of "Faith" and "Seventeen Seconds" era The Cure in both the albums vocal tones and  musical execution, ok the delivery is a lot more intense and heavier but we still hear it all the same. Confession over we move on to next track "Seagull" a song that finds Moon Coven taking the bare bones of stoner doom and hanging on those bones bright musical trinkets that glisten and sparkle amidst the gloom. Things are then brought to close with "My Melting Mind" a song that once again harks back to Moon Coven's past endeavors of big doomic riffs and big thunderous rhythms, however the bands new found musicality is never far away and has now become part of the bands DNA and so its not long before a series of ringing arpeggios and circular guitar motifs make their presence felt to bring a touch of much called for respite to the songs low heavy and relentless sonic attack.

The band tell us that "Slumber Wood" is an album that took six years in the making, now before you start thinking the band were suffering from some sort of TOOL or Axl Rose syndrome let us remember that Moon Coven are an underground band with none of the resources of those other two and in order to survive to play their music they have to have day jobs and in turn have lives that need living. However those six years of writing, rehearsing and playing live has had its compensations, the band sound tighter than ever on "Slumber Wood" and the relentless riffage that informed their previous releases has been enhanced by a musicality that can only have come from endless hours of practice and rehearsal .
Check it out...

© 2021 Frazer Jones

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