Coven (3) ‎– Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls

Mercury ‎– SR 61239
Vinyl, LP, Album, Triple Gatefold

Companies, etc.


  • Arranged ByCoven (3), Jim Donlinger
  • DesignJerry Griffith
  • EngineerMal Davis
  • Other [Dominus Limini] – Chis Neilsen, Chuck Lishon, Dave Wilkerson, Jim Donlinger, Jim Nyeholt
  • Other [Ipsissmus] – Bill Traut
  • Other [Magister Templii] – Jinx, Oz Osborne, Steve Ross
  • Other [Magus] – Jim Donlinger
  • Other [Philosophi] – Ginna Donlinger, Joel Sebastian
  • Other [Practici] – Al Dawson, Charlotte Ceasar, Don Drumm, Lance Massey, Mike Bean, Robin McBride, Tom Donlinger
  • Other [Zelators] – Bill Blair, Bud Carr, Buddy Meyers, Dan Baughman, Eddie Higgins, Fred Bohlander, Jack Mondrus, Jack Woodman, Jim Golden, Jim Pilster, Judy Haywood, Larry Gordon, Lynn Janutka, Pat Griffith, Sheila Edwards, Vivian Bouchard
  • Photography BySig Binder
  • Written-ByB. Traut*, D. Wilkerson* (tracks: A4, A5, B1), G. Donlinger* (tracks: A5, B2), J. Donlinger* (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, A6, B2), J. Dawson* (tracks: A4, B1, B3), O. Osborne* (tracks: A4, B1, B3), S. Ross* (tracks: A4, B1, B3)

Other Versions (5 of 12) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
OLR-002 Coven (3) Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls(CDr, Album, Ltd, Num, RE) Outlaw Recordings OLR-002 US 2000 Sell This Version
AK 271 Coven (3) Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls(CD, Album, RE) Akarma AK 271 Germany 2011 Sell This Version
NEVOC 13 Coven (3) Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls(CDr, Album, Ltd, RE, RP, Pro) Nevoc Musick NEVOC 13 US 2013 Sell This Version
HRY 0001 Coven (3) Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls(CD, Album, RE, Unofficial) Hard Rock Yankees HRY 0001 Unknown Sell This Version
AK 271 Coven (3) Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls(LP, Album, RE) Akarma AK 271 Italy 2003 Sell This Version


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May 23, 2015
WDMRS is a very highly sought after record for a reason, not just because of its notoriety from being associated with the Manson killings (thanks to Esquire Magazine's highly unethical Faux-news style of false reportage.) This caused the record to be withdrawn within a month of being released, making it very rare indeed (although from the availability of it nowadays I find it hard to believe it is really worth $300!) BTW, just know that the Akarma label pressing from 10 years ago was done without the authorization of Mercury Records or Coven, making it a bootleg. I have both copies, but I prefer the Mercury version. Also, Jinx Dawson is selling a CDr of this on her eBay account, which goes for around $20. I got mine signed, but I think she's only selling unsigned copies now.


August 19, 2011
edited over 6 years ago

This album was a center of controversy. No surprise given the occult content. While people are used to metal bands flirting with this subject matter, there were non-metal acts doing it too, like Black Widow, Jacula, and Coven. This was the same group who later scored the hit "One Tin Soldier". Often they've been compared to an occult version of the Jefferson Airplane. I guess just about any psychedelic band with a female vocalist seemed to get compared to the Airplane. But Jinx Dawson's voice does not sound like Grace Slick, she reminds me a bit of Anna Meek of Catapilla (although that group did not exist then) and she has that wicked voice appropriate for this kind of music. I find it interesting two members of Aorta are on this album, Jim Donlinger and Jim Nyeholt. I guess, since they too were from Chicago, although Jim Donlinger is a Christian, so how he participated on this album, I can't say, he certainly doesn't want anyone to know he was involved in that album these days. Interesting a member of the band was called Oz Osborne. Not Ozzy Osbourne, but it seems like a coincidence to me. Also coincidentally, the album features a song called "Black Sabbath" as Sabbath has on their debut, except they're completely different songs (you'll be able to tell the Sabbath one right away). So that lead to speculation if the guys from Black Sabbath got a hold of this album (it needs to be noted the album was never released in the UK). This album is basically a collection of psychedelia, but you can notice some prog leanings in many of the cuts. "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" features a nice jazzy arrangement, while "Charing Cross" features some chanting. "Black Sabbath" is completely different from the Black Sabbath song of the same name, but it demonstrates the band's sound in a nutshell. That last cut is basically an initiation ceremony, I got a kick on how the priest was telling one of his initiates to "Kiss the goat!" in a real angry tone of voice. This is one album you might not want to play to just anyone. I'm afraid of leaving my window open and having a pedestrian walking by hearing that. Musically, it often gets a bad rap, I was rather surprised, it featured some great music, although it's true the lyrics might be a bit too much for some.

Personally I find this album rather underrated. I guess, aside from the themes, the reason so many people dislike this album is it's not metal. I watched Frank Zappa's movie 200 Motels, there was a scene called Dental Hygiene Dilemma involving Jeff (I presume Jeff Simmons, who briefly played with Zappa, on the Chunga's Revenge album) where he wanted to ditch the comedy group and how he wanted to be heavy like Grand Funk, Black Sabbath, or Coven (really, Sabbath was the only group mentioned you can call heavy). I was laughing because Coven isn't heavy, and I believe at the time the movie came out, they scored a hit with "One Tin Soldier" which was much more mainstream AM radio fare. This album is about as metal as Black Widow's Sacrifice.

It's also no surprise the controversy caused Mercury to quickly delete this title, so it's became one of the rarer titles in their catalog. Apparently a March 1970 issue of Esquire Magazine had an article entitled "Evil lurks in California" which mentioned the Charles Manson murders, and also referenced this album (I initially thought there was a picture of Manson with this album, but that don't appear to be so. I hadn't seen this issue either). This group suffered a similar fate to Black Widow: too much bad publicity forced them to move away from the occult, as their following albums demonstrate. So if you enjoy albums like Black Widow's Sacrifice and late '60s psychedelia in general, this is one to own.