By Tony Sokol
Coven, the prototype for satanic metal bands fronted by the insidiously anointed Jinx Dawson will reunite for the first time in Europe for Roadburn Festival’s 22nd heavy rock and metal festival Roadburn 2017. The festival runs April 20 to 23, 2017 at the 013 Venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Coven will perform on April 20th.
“Roadburn Festival’s intrepid ring master, Walter, hath stirred us from our Coven lair,” Jinx Dawson said in a statement. “We shall be performing a musickal ritual for the first time in many ages. We are wickedly delighted to travel to the Netherlands for this very special festival concert, and to bring our musickal form of Witchcraft once again to the live stage.”
The festival will be curated by John Dyer Baizley, the lead singer of Baroness. Baroness, who first appeared at Roadburn in 2009, will take to the main stage on the Friday of Roadburn.
“It is such a high honor to have even been considered for the role; I feel genuinely privileged to have fostered so many wonderful relationships within the microcosmic-world that surrounds this incredibly unique festival,” Baizley said in a statement. “Without revealing anything too specific concerning the lineup, I can confidently say that the groundwork that Walter and I have laid in the preceding months is staggering, both in it’s scope and it’s diversity. I could never have dreamed that I’d get to communicate with, let alone invite and present so many incredible bands during this one consolidated musical event. I am proud to have the opportunity to showcase so many of those artists, who have had an indelible impact on my own work, so many esteemed friends and tour-mates, and people/ bands with whom so many in our community share fundamental creative ideals.”
More than anyone besides Managing Editor Marie Bargas, Jinx Dawson introduced and induced this left handed writer into the left hand of the mystical. I was six years old when my grandfather found a copy of their 1969 LP, Witchcraft Destroy Minds and Reaps Souls at makeshift temple and altar at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn. I was hooked by the time I got to the words to the song “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” an acronym for FUCK, which was just as titillating: “You look into her magic eyes. She can see through your disguise. Then you know she’s The one that had you hypnotized. And everything she touches dies.”
Coven is best known for their only Top 40 hit, “One Tin Soldier,” which was the theme song to the cult movie Billy Jack (1971). The band isn’t actually on the song, but Jinx insisted those devils get their due.
Coven was the first satanic metal band. There is a picture of Charles Manson holding their album. Jinx Dawson flashed the Horned Hand Sign at concerts and entranced not only the audience, but other rock stars. Steve Ross kept the infernal beat. Coven’s guitarist Oz Osbourne predated the Black Sabbath singer. The band’s first song was called “Black Sabbath.” Jinx mesmerized Rod Stewart and the Faces, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Alice Cooper, Steppenwolf, and Jethro Tull, whose bassist, the late Glenn Cornick, laid down some bottom for Coven.
The band ran through songs with titles like “Pact With Lucifer,” “Dignitaries of Hell,” and “White Witch of Rose Hall.” The second side features 13-minute recording of a real “Satanic Mass,” beating Anton Szandor LaVey by a few months. It’s actually a lookalike posed nude on the sacrificial altar in the foldout of the album. Dawson, the devilish daughter of generations of occult family knowledge, was the High Priestess.