November 17, 2022

Spy Satellite Records are an independent digital record label, created in 2019 by artists for artists. On of the most promising bands on their roster is Witches Coven, stoner rockers hailing from Singapore, and they’re delighted to announce the release of the band’s debut album, World on Fire (SSR04/2022). The band is actually the creation of Imran Manaff, aka Azrael, the guitarist and vocalist of Funeral Hearse, a one-man Black Metal band. Important to note that this is NOT the Swedish band of the same name.

Imran

Witches Coven was created in 2020 during the Covid-19 global pandemic whilst being locked-down at home. Like so many other artists, being cut off from the rest of society was driving Imran potty so he decided to embark on a new musical outlet. Taking his inspiration from 60s/70s rock heroes such as Black Sabbath, Cream, Creedence, Led Zeppelin, Cactus and Church of Misery, and channelling it into a new venture. Witches Coven was born…
Imran plays all instruments on this album, notably vocals, guitars, bass, synth and programmed percussion – I take my hat off to folk like this!

Now available via Bandcamp, Spotify and all digital sources, World On Fire is loosely inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem The Howl, with lyrical themes reflecting Imran’s observations on today’s society. It features seven slabs of heavy rock / stoner rock, produced by Imran Manaff and mixed
and mastered by Sonicmonk.

Reason To Believe is the album’s opener, setting the scene with some doomy Sabbath-esque chords before developing into a classic stoner vibe. Imran’s got the right sort of rough, throaty vocals to go with the arrangement, it’s all pretty much soaked in sludge! Shackles of Desire is up next, getting darker and slower, proper doom-metal this one, complete with Shamanic-sounding vocals! Does go on a bit though….

Waiting For Time feels like a personal studio workout a la Sabbath, Imran clearly enjoying himself! The same thing goes for Blinded By Lights – a decent enough riff and a nicely rumbling bass line…the same goes for Falling Through, it is all beginning to sound a bit samey-sludge – I think that can be a problem for this genre?

Blurring the Lines is next, nicely boing-y down-tuned bass again featuring and a reverberating riff that’s hypnotic. It’s okay. The last track of this set is Dawn of the Morning Star, and it’s my personal favourite because there’s a touch more light and shade to the arrangement, if not the sentiment! Sounding like a demented Bryan Ferry, Imran doesn’t hold much hope for mankind?…

For much of this, World on Fire plays like a tribute to Black Sabbath – which certainly ain’t bad and it will appeal to lots of headbangerfolk. But it is very derivative, and ploughs just the one furrow. But if it works for you, it works!

Spy Satellite Records logo

Released via Bandcamp (https://spysatelliterecordssg.bandcamp.com), Spotify and all other digital sources.

For more information contact Spy Satellite Records at spysatellitercords@gmail.com.

Here’s a link to various video samplers for the album: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=682313659677034