Friday, 12 December 2014

Moon Coven - Amanita Kingdom (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 15/01/2014
Label: Transubstan

Amanita Kingdom CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). Ruler of Dust
Amanita Kingdom
Amanita Kingdom II
We Were Conquerors


Moon Coven is a five piece psychedelic stoner rock band hailing from the town of Jönköping in the southern parts of Sweden. From the ruins of various bands, Moon Coven was formed in the summer of 2012 with the members David Leban - Vocals & Guitar, Fredrik Dahlqvist -Drums, Axel Ganhammar - Guitar, Oscar Johansson - Bass & Vocals and Justin Boyesen - Guitar.

After the summer of 2012 the song writing really began and in the beginning of 2013 Moon Coven started recording. After some problems resulting in a break in production Moon Coven’s self - recorded debut EP/Album “Amanita Kingdom” was done 6 months later in June of 2013.

Amanita Kingdom was released on Transubstans Records in January of 2014. With its repetitive slow stoner rock riffs and mesmerizing psychedelic vocals it got critically acclaimed

Moon Coven is:

David Leban | Vocals & Guitar
Fredrik Dahlqvist | Drums
Axel Ganhammar | Guitar
Oscar Johansson | Bass & Vocals
Justin Boyesen | Guitar


In case you’re unaware, an Amanita is a family of mushrooms that is generally very poisonous, but if the right one is found and consumed, a beautiful trip awaits. You could say that this same phenomenon applies for music, too; there are copious bands out there, many who sound dangerously alike, but if the right one is found then, well, a beautiful trip awaits. That is exactly the case with Moon Coven’s debut album ‘Amanita Kingdom’.  Upon first glance, it fits right in there with other Black Sabbath worshippers and they could start a party opening up for Uncle Acid, but rather than steering clear of them in fear that they’re just another stoner rock band, do yourself a favor and take them in.

Go for a leisurely stroll and get lost in Moon Coven’s beautiful, lush kingdom. Enjoy your time here; appreciate the beauty of the guitar solos that aggressively rise from the ground like bean stalks, twisting amongst themselves and getting lost in the task at hand. Come take a seat at the foot of the bean stalk where a blanket is sprawled out and has become home to a group of long haired ladies basking in the sun, eating freshly picked grapes as they laugh the day away to the tune of the two-part title track. Allow the Moon Coven sound, which is warm, sturdy and frequently dancing around a circular guitar riff, to wash over you. Close your eyes and focus in on the guitars as they spin around your eyelids like a kaleidoscope.

Once the sun sets and the temperatures start to drop, everyone in the kingdom comes together with blankets and Jagermeister by the fire pit. Though the album opener could have also closed out the album thanks to it’s sturdy, anthemic plodding, Moon Coven instead choose to unabashedly revel in the 70’s and calm things down with the psych-folk tune called ‘We Were Conquerors.’ Those around the fire huddle together and think back on the day, lazily singing along, as the melody drifts away into the darkness.

Amanita Kingdom’ is something special. It is simple, straight forward, and unassuming without rehashing the same stuff you’ve heard time and time again. The band is very talented and confident, playing with the dynamics of their songs and taking the time to do so. Considering that Moon Coven was able to deliver something of this caliber on their debut album, it surprises me that there hasn’t been more talk of this band in 2014.

Words:  Victor van Ommen

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