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While subsequent bands exploited demonic imagery and occult themes for commercial success and sensationalism, Coven were true (un)believers. Thus, the last track on the album, "Satanic Mass," is a full Black Mass, while the double-gatefold album jacket — which we have faithfully reproduced — not only displays a picture of Coven's lead vocalist, Jinx Dawson, splayed naked across a ritualistic altar surrounded by hooded members of the band and its associates, but also includes the full text of a Black Mass along with lyrics to the unabashedly Satan-worshipping songs. In the end, Witchcraft was a little too far ahead of its time; coming out in 1969, at the height of hysteria about Satanism whipped up by the Manson Family murders, the album generated a firestorm of reaction, which turned into an inferno when Manson himself was photographed holding a copy of the record. The album was recalled, Dunwich withdrew support, and the band bounced around a couple of other labels before going on hiatus in 1976.
But Coven remains a crucial, if underrecognized, influence on hard rock and heavy metal. Now, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls is reincarnated with full artwork intact and a limited fire (orange) and brimstone (pale blue) vinyl pressing. Whether approached as a cultural artifact, a totemic fetish, a camp classic, or just really cool music, it will cast a spell on you.
You might want to sign up for it just in case it's decent.