Devil horns, Satanic rituals, and a 45-year-old debut album that became a benchmark for what has since become known as occult rock – in darkened circles COVEN – and their album ‘Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Soul’s – legacy is of paramount importance. At the tail-end of 2013, a new album, entitled ‘JINX’ was released marking a new era for the pioneering troupe. JINX DAWSON – High Priestess and the original wicked woman– spoke to Iron Fist about its creation and the legacy that she and her band has created. Now as the band prepare to perform a brand new ritual at ROABURN FESTIVAL we present that interview once more in its entirety
Tell us about the creative process of the new album… Was it a continuous process or has it been carried out over a longer period with breaks? “In some ways, this album has been over 40 years in the making. But summer of 2013 was when I decided it was time for a new Coven album. One must always close the circle, so I starting mixing together a wicked brew of olde and new. There were a few songs back in the day that were never finished or considered too bizarre and … Read More
We don’t want to make such a bold statement just past the halfway point, but Jesus H Cobbett, the latest Hammers Of Misfortune album, ‘Dead Revolution’ (via Metal Blade) will be hard to top in the end of year polls. If last album ’17th Street’ was HOM gone even more prog, ‘Dead Revolution’ is the band’s violent kneejerk reaction. It’s thrashy, it’s angry, it’s deadly – and that could be largely down to the fact that the band have been, in no particular order, involved in the Occupy movement which rightly has them mighty pissed-off, involved in a gnarly motorbike crash, losing sleep with the addition of a baby Cobbett, putting out crusty black metal under the guise of Vhöl, being kept busy with incredible death metal side-project Vastum, playing doom with The Worship Of Silence and joining Death Angel.
However all parties have regrouped for album number #6 (well, #7 if you count ‘Fields’ and ‘Church Of Broken Glass’ as two albums) and it’s amazing. Imagine Slough Feg gone even more bonkers; if Pink Floyd had a heavy metal cousin, it would be Hammers Of Misfortune. Mindblown by the layers on ‘Dead Revolution’ we just wanted to find out what the ingredients were … Read More
It’s been a difficult time for heavy metal of late. We knew he was sick but Ian Fraser Kilmister, with that indomitable spirit, wouldn’t let us, his fans, down. Recording albums and playing live right up until the end, it’s as if we knew the day would come but neither he, nor us, would accept that crushing fate.
For weeks there seemed like an outpouring of collective grief. Even when the godlike Bowie and then the rock of which so much of heavy metal is built, Jimmy Bain, passed away it all got caught up in this exhausting wave of despair.
Doing a new issue of Iron Fist felt meaningless; we were named after a Motörhead song and now Motörhead was no more. While every other magazine poured over the details of Lemmy’s life, we wanted to mourn the band as well as the man and through our haze turned to the only person we could think of, Jase Of Spades from the blog 366 Days Of Motörhead to help us both with our office playlists and tribute. In this issue he reminds us of the many albums, live recordings and rare tracks that the ‘Head have left as their … Read More
I’ve said this before, when starting Iron Fist I had a dream list of interviewees. It’s been astounding to have the honour of ticking these off the list, from Girlschool to Rock Goddess to Bruce Dickinson and Scott Gorham. Michael Schenker was high on the list, but it’s always nerving to predict which Michael Schenker you’re going to get. Notoriously spiky about his art being at the centre of his world, turning down high profile gigs with Aerosmith and Ozzy, he’s not always been the willing interviewee, but as he’s prepares to embark on a new Temple Of Rock tour, starting today in Bilston, he’s accommodating, chatty and charming. What’s so obviously clear from our conversation is that the former Scorpions, UFO and MSG mastermind has found a new lease of life and of art with his latest project Temple Of Rock.
What started as a solo project in 2011 with friends Pete Way on bass (UFO), and Herman Rarebell on drums (ex Scorpions), with guest vocals from Robin McAuley (ex MSG) and Doogie White (ex Rainbow/MSG etc), Temple Of Rock has become a band in its own right, with Herman, Doogie and Michael joined by formed Scorpions colleague Francis … Read More
Ever since Scorpions released special editions of ‘Taken By Force’, ‘Tokyo Tapes’, ‘Lovedrive’, ‘Animal Magnetism’, ‘Blackout’, ‘Love At First Sting’, ‘World Wide Live’ and ‘Savage Amusement’ earlier this month, we’ve had very little on the turntables over at Iron Fist HQ. From blues jams to unreleased live tracks and raw demo versions of much-loved songs the bonus material is worth re-buying these classics alone, but the fact that the albums are available again on CD and LP for a new generation has made guitarist Matthias Jabs – who joined the band in 1979 for the ‘Lovedrive’ album – a very happy chap. We spoke to him about listening to LPs until they were scratched, almost working with Andy Warhol and how a duck was nearly the star of the artwork for ‘Blackout‘…
The last time we talked was in the run-up to the release of 2013’s ‘MTV Unplugged’ album and back then you talked so excitedly about plans for the band’s 50th Anniversary, which seemed like ages away. Now we’re almost at the end of the celebrations, where did the time go? “Isn’t it like that in general? Time flies when you’re having fun. So many things have happened since then, … Read More
Any Judas Priest gig is special but when the defenders of the faith announce a show in their native county of the West Midlands, England, you know the air is going to be charged that wee bit more. Tonight, Wolverhampton Civic Hall gets the honour of hosting the Metal Gods, and there’s a lot to live up to with the memory of 2011’s stellar appearance in the same venue still fresh in this scribe’s mind. However, we have to question how long the old gods can realistically rage on, but while they are still here they continue to bring new meaning to Halford’s own words: “You realise you’re getting old and no one seems to care”. The fans are out in force tonight and they are certainly not put off by the fact that Halford and co. are pushing nearly 70 years old. Priest are sharing the road with Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock on this tour, and even though the group is made up of Scorpions/UFO alumni they appear at first to serve as a backdrop to chatting and beer-ordering with little interaction or even acknowledgment from the crowd. But as their set rolls on and as the sound improves, … Read More
The new issue of Iron Fist is upon us and we’re getting behind a campaign to get Germany’s great rock and roll export, SCORPIONS, to the UK. So far they’ve not included Britain on their final Worldwide Live tour and we’re set to change that. Speaking to guitarists RUDOLF SCHENKER and MATTHIAS JABS, Louise Brown discovers a band far from retirement and with plenty more to give their fans.
They’re not the only band still “hungry” for the road, Jim Martin talks to JAY JAY FRENCH from TWISTED SISTER about the making of ‘STAY HUNGRY’ and their upcoming 30th Anniversary tour. And talking of 30th anniversaries, we’ve also got a massive feature celebrating three decades of ‘PSALM 9’ and talk to both TROUBLE and THE SKULL about how they’re continuing their legacy through two different paths. We also talk to DAN LILKER on the eve of his retirement from touring about the band, and the album, that kick-started his career; ANTHRAX and the making of ‘FISTFUL OF METAL’ and we discuss getting back into the studio with JINX DAWSON of COVEN, who just released her first album in 40 years! We’re gearing up for BROFEST too, the second edition of the Newcastle … Read More
With albums from Atlantean Kodex, Argus and Age Of Taurus riding high in our albums of the year lists, and of course the final ever album from the true masters, Cathedral, it seems that traditional doom, steeped in the roots of heavy metal, is, once again, genre du jour, and now Esslingen’s Mountain Throne are joining the ranks with their debut album ‘Stormcoven’ on Cyclone Empire. Forming in 2009 guitarist A tells Iron Fist that he, “always wanted to have a band playing this ancient kind of metal” and had been writing songs in that vein for years. Drummer J joins A in the doom band Mirror Of Deception, while cracking singer F and bassist S are in the power metal band From Beyond, so the cachet is hot for this German four-piece. When asked what attracted them to the traditional doom genre, A says firmly, “It’s the choice of champions really, isn´t it? There is a sense of a tradition… knowing where things came from and how they developed. Real heavy metal and classic hard and heavy rock are incredibly soulful. In real metal you definitely have that spirit. For me, this magic is epitomised in the songs of … Read More
“We had been discussing a name change for a couple of months prior to playing the Noctis festival,” muses Lester Skelter, drummer and vocalist for Western Canadian traditional metallers Spell. A continuation of the NWOBHM metal lineage begun by the young trio’s previous act Stryker, Spell is the sum of this basic equation: Stryker + ‘70s prog + ‘60s psychedelic imagery. Confused yet? So were we…
“When it turned out that Striker from Edmonton (they were featured in Iron Fist Issue 9) got booked on the same show… that was kind of the final thing that made us go ahead with the name change,” says Skelter. Indeed, the act played the final Noctis 666 in September of 2013, and was somewhat humorously double billed by a cheeky promoter.
“Although really, underneath that, the name change had been a long time coming as well, because the initial name reflected more of the ‘80s heavy metal style that we started playing. We’ve taken on a lot of new influences and gone in a new direction and become better and more capable players, and so we thought the new aesthetic and direction we were going in needed a new name.”
Far from embarrassed by their initial … Read More
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