Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls

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Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls
Coven-Witchcraft Destroys Minds.jpg
Studio album by Coven
Released 1969
Recorded 1969
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 45:55
Label Mercury Records
Producer Bill Traut
Coven chronology
Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls is the debut album of the psychedelic rock band Coven. Released in 1969, it was unusual in that it dealt with overtly occult and satanic themes, and was removed, in the past time, 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, the use of Latin, and the phrase Hail Satan. Today, these are characteristics of the occult and heavy metal genres. 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." [2] As a further coincidence, Coven's bass guitarist and co-writer (Mike Osborne) is credited as "Oz Osborne".

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":

"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 one or two songs to the project."[3]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Black Sabbath"   Donlinger 3:32
2. "White Witch of Rose Hall"   Donlinger 3:08
3. "Coven in Charing Cross"   Donlinger 4:04
4. "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge"   Dawson, Ross, Wilkerson, Osborne 4:41
5. "Pact with Lucifer"   Donlinger, Wilkerson 3:32
6. "Choke, Thirst, Die"   Donlinger 3:32
7. "Wicked Woman"   Dawson, Ross, Wilkerson, Osborne 3:01
8. "Dignitaries of Hell"   Donlinger 4:09
9. "Portrait"   Dawson, Ross, Osborne 2:37
10. "Satanic Mass"   Traut 13:19
Total length:



  • Produced By Bill Traut
  • Engineered By Mal Davis


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Lester Bangs, in a 17 September 1970 review in Rolling Stone Magazine
  3. ^ Vincent, James, Space Traveler, A Musician's Odyssey, 2003, p 43.

External links[edit]