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Coven 13’s Destiny of the Gods (Shadow Kingdom) is the climax to quite an interesting story. Back in the mid-‘80s, bass player Roger Cyrkeil had returned to Detroit from La-La Land having recorded an album with future Warrior Soul man Kory Clarke and a band called the Trial that would be largely undiscovered for three decades. Back in the Motor City, he assembled the band (with the help of an ad in the MT) that would be known as Coven (the “13” was added later after receiving a letter from another Coven band). The band played around Metro Detroit a lot before breaking up in the ‘90s. Now they’re back with this new album and, while they sound a little world-weary, that’s working in their favor. The first Coven album has earned plenty of plaudits while the band has been away. This might now be quite so well-received but it has plenty going for it. Brits will chuckle at a song called “Isle of Man,” a holiday town being made to sound mystic. The lyrics hit all the Norse buttons, with songs like “Frost Giants” and “Thor’s Twins.” Musically, there a mix of power metal and stoner rock going on here. Sadly, the necessary hooks are largely absent, so what we have here is a powerful, fun record but not a great one. Still, fascinating story.
Reverend Sexton’s All Star Blues Review’s Made in Drayton Plains sees the good Reverend preaching the gospel of the blues with vigor and passion. There are some cool tunes on here too, including insistent opening track “How Long.” The musicianship is exemplary, there’s no questioning that. It all sounds a little cabaret-like though. Like, you might here this brand of blues while eating ribs, or perhaps even on a cruise ship.