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Coven 13

The Coven 13 story began on a cold dreary day in Detroit back in the late winter months of early 1985. Bassist Roger Cyrkiel had returned from Hollywood, CA. after his departure from Trial (Kory Klarke & Kevin Quinn). Searching for a new band, he first sought a guitarist that could fit the sound that would match what he was looking for. After many auditions and discussions, longtime friend and guitarist, Richie Karacynski, (whom Roger originally wanted to fill the position) was busy with his own band, had recommended guitarist Todd Kreda for the slot. Roger placed an ad in Detroit’s Metr ...read more

The Coven 13 story began on a cold dreary day in Detroit back in the late winter months of early 1985. Bassist Roger Cyrkiel had returned from Hollywood, CA. after his departure from Trial (Kory Klarke & Kevin Quinn). Searching for a new band, he first sought a guitarist that could fit the sound that would match what he was looking for. After many auditions and discussions, longtime friend and guitarist, Richie Karacynski, (whom Roger originally wanted to fill the position) was busy with his own band, had recommended guitarist Todd Kreda for the slot. Roger placed an ad in Detroit’s Metro Times musicians classified seeking Todd. Todd’s father read the ad and brought it to his attention. Todd contacted Roger, and that was the beginning of the formation.

The next thing was to find a vocalist. Roger and Todd went together searching at clubs and reviewing video of local bands. They came across a band called Danse Macabre featuring David Landrum on vocals. He was exactly what they were looking for. Not just a strong and powerful voice, he such a great stage presence. This was their guy! The final piece to the line-up was the drummer. After a dozen or so of frustrating auditions and disappointments, Todd recruited 17 year old Brian McGuckin whom he had played with in a band before. With his high energy playing and influences from Bill Ward and John Bonham, he would become the final piece to the infamous Coven line-up.

Originally, the band was to be called “Oracle”, but adopted the moniker Coven. During the period of the mid 80’s and products of The Motor City’s hard work ethic, these four rolled up their sleeves and went straight to work. Highly influenced by bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden, they mixed this with the style of a David Bowie/Peter Murphy type vocalist. With the assistance of Richie Karacynski, the writing process had begun. The lyrical content mainly consisted of escaping from everyday life and concentrating on writing about Celtic and Nordic themes, as well as writing songs what would be known today as “Goth”.

The band blended all their ideas together writing songs such as Burial Ground, which was their first, after a horror movie poster in Todd’s basement where the band rehearsed. The Riddle of Steel was written after the 1983 motion picture “Conan”. The Wicked Day was written after the King Arthur lore. Kiss Me With Blood was written after David read “The Vampire Chronicles” by Ann Rice. Ruler and Jailhouse were Trial songs from Roger’s previous band.

They began playing the Detroit music circuit extensively. Mainly the underground scene. After building a fan base in the city, the band had enough original material to record a full length album.

In the spring of 1987, the band entered Spectrum Studios to record their first album which was recorded and engineered by Cal Sands and produced by Roger Cyrkiel. Cal was the driving force for capturing the bands unique dark, doomy and gothic sound. All tracks were recorded on 16 tracks with the exception of Ruler, which was the only track recorded on 24 tracks. Coven released their first album entitled “Worship New Gods” under their own record label, Crom Records. It was released in late 1987 on vinyl. Only 1000 were copies pressed. 500 copies were released in North America while the other half were sent off for European distribution. The band began to play extensively in 1988 supporting the new album. Not only playing The Detroit underground scene but also extending out to the N.Y. scene. They performed at Detroit’s “Dally in the Alley” (again in 1991) and “The 4th Street Fair”. Coven appeared on the Maniacs from the Motor City compilation (vinyl) with such Detroit bands as ALD, Son of Sam, Forced Anger, Slaughterhouse, The Rogues and Inside Out. Coven also shot 4 music videos for the Downriver cable show “Keep It Movin”. Videos for Ruler, Wicked Day, Threshold of the New and Riddle Of Steel were on regular rotation for the show. In May 1989, the band shared the cover of Detroit’s Jam Rag with Black Sabbath.

The addition of the 13 came about one day when the band received a letter from the original band Coven (of One Tin Soldier fame), requesting them to change their name and stated that they had copyrights and would impose legal action against them. Respectfully, the band did. As a band that has already established a name for themselves in the Detroit music scene and with the success of Worship New Gods, they quickly decided to simply put a 13 after Coven. It made sense, 13 witches in a coven. From that point forward, the band was to be known as Coven 13.

In 1991 the band moved back into the recording studio to record their follow up release to WNG’s. Recorded at Sterling Sound and engineered by Gordon Carver. During the time of the recording sessions, tensions had been starting to brew within the band. Alcohol and substance abuse had become an attributing factor. This had led to poor production of the recordings. Ragnarok was released under Crom Records as a demo (cassette) in 1991 with high expectations but didn’t quite receive the success of their first album.

After 6 years in the band, in 1991, Roger decided to call it quits and left the band. Coven 13 remained together performing shows throughout 91 and 92 with several musicians filling in Roger’s slot. In 1992, Todd, Brian and David decided to hang it up after failing to recruit Roger to return to the band. Throughout the next few years, Roger moved to Arizona for a brief period, while Brian and Todd moved on to other do projects while David moved off live in Seattle.

Throughout the years, the band remained in close contact with each other. Brian and Todd also played in several projects together in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. After long discussions, the band decided that it was time to get back together. David returned from Seattle for 4 reunion shows in the summer of 2005. Performances at The Hayloft, The Old Miami and also returning at the legendary “4th Street Fair” in Detroit, were regarded as some of the bands greatest shows. Coven 13’s final performance was held at The Woodward Dream Cruise in Ferndale, MI.

After the success of the bands reunion shows, in 2006, the band went into hiatus. David returned to Seattle and Todd relocated to Florida. Officially, the band didn’t break-up. Some of the bands members were going through some personal issues and turmoil during this period causing the band to put a hold on any future plans. At this point, Coven 13 was in the process of re-releasing Worship New Gods. The band was getting international label interest for a re-release, so the re-mastering of the album began. They took the original master reels to Tempermill Studios which were re-mastered by engineer/producer, Tony Hamera.

In 2011, Frustrated with life in Seattle, David returned to Detroit. There had been discussion of reuniting again and possibly recording another record and finally re-releasing the re-master of WNG’s, but there was one problem, Todd was still residing in Florida. In July, on the brink of starting to write new material and possibly sending Todd back to Detroit for a recording session, Brian ran into old an friend of Coven 13, Richie Karacynski at a Slayer show. The 2 had a short discussion in which Brian talked of Coven 13 getting back together and asked Richie if he would like to join the band as a second guitarist. Richie accepted. After all, Richie had co-written songs with Coven 13 on the first two releases. The band went straight to work writing new material while Todd returned to Detroit to reunite with the band. The band will be entering the recording studio in June, 2012 for its 1st record in 21 years.

In February of 2012, Coven 13 signed a deal with Shadow Kingdom Records and announced finally, the re-release and re-mastered 25th Anniversary edition of Worship New Gods on cd.

It was announced on February 9th 2012, that Coven 13 will be performing at The Hammer Of Doom 7 Festival in Wurzburg, Germany on Nov.9th and 10th 2012. It will be the band’s first European date. « hide

Similar Bands: Cirith Ungol, Argus, Cauchemar, The Mezmerist, Lords of the Crimson Alliance

Destiny of the Gods
11/19/2013

Worship New Gods
1987

3.5
2 Votes

Contributors: rockandmetaljunkie, Voivod, MaidenFan24,

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