COVEN JAPAN Album Review: “Earthlings”

Album Review by Iron Mathew


Coven Japan are a heavy metal band from (err) Japan formed in 2016, releasing their debut album ‘Earthlings’ in 2023.

Founded by guitarist Akihiro Ito and singer Taka, Coven Japan bring the sound of the glorious eighties and the iconic NWOBHM to the fore, pummelling listeners with a blend of Angel Witch, Judas Priest, and Satan – the five piece band from Tokyo following in the footsteps of countrymen Loudness, Earthshaker, and Anthem, these bands leading the Japanese metal movement during the early eighties. The album is eight songs and forty minutes of traditional “foot on the monitor” heavy metal delivered at pace with an insane amount of head bang ability – ‘Earthlings’ exploding into life with ‘Land Of The Rising Sun’ a very strong smell of old school metal filling the air! The pace is incredible, the urgency overwhelming, ‘Land Of The Rising Sun’ planting smiles a mile wide on the faces of every listener, fan and follower. Coven Japan have set their stall out from minute one song one, cruising down the highway at top speed. And top speed is where we stay for ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’, which actually increases the pace as it thunders forth with more urgency than the previous song. The head bang ability of the opening double salvo has rocketed off the fucking charts, the band delivering the kinda heavy metal I love and go fucking wild for!

And with the glorious guitar sound of the iconic NWOBHM, ‘Apocalypse’ is a traditional metaller in the vein of legendary bands Saxon, Samson, Raven and Iron Maiden – Coven Japan maintaining a sensational aura of old school heavy metal. An aura that I live and breathe every single day, the Japanese four piece hitting the sweet spot with immaculate accuracy! And I’m beginning to think the band can’t miss – ‘Return Of The Souls’ scoring a direct with pace and power, rocking heads back and forth just as vigorously as ever! Since the album began, the level of head bang ability has been through the roof, Coven Japan giving every single metalhead around the world a reason to get up, jump up, and enjoy every song on offer – I know I am!

And with an almighty eighties feel, ‘To Sanctuary – March For The Voiceless’ perfectly re-creates the feel of the early days of heavy metal evolution – the early days when the likes of Diamond Head, Girlschool and Tygers Of Pan Tang along with (the aforementioned) Saxon, Samson, Raven and Iron Maiden created the greatest style of music ever! And right here, right now, forty four years later and six thousand miles away, Coven Japan are defiantly upholding Britain’s legacy with regards to the sound of traditional heavy metal. ‘Earthlings’ has been breathless since it began, the smile on my face getting wider and wider, ‘Night Flyer’ entering the fray with a more melodious feel than every other song heard so far. Yes they’ve all been melodic, it’s just that ‘Night Flyer’ is much more melodic, attracting fans of hard rock into the bands soundscape.

Title song ‘Earthlings’ slows down the overall pace of the album, (thankfully not ballad pace) – more like a hymn-like swagger similar to Iron Maiden’s strolling ‘Remember Tomorrow’ (from the bands 1980 self titled debut album). And fuck me – the change of pace at four minutes is electric! I certainly wasn’t expecting that – Coven Japan displaying a blistering turn of speed, ‘Earthlings’ (the song) roaring on to a conclusion. Bringing a very good album to a close, ‘Lost Humanity’ firmly plants both feet on the monitor, inviting every single metalhead to furiously bang their heads one last time. What a song – and what an album! Forty minutes of good old fashioned heavy metal – just what the doctor ordered!

Overall, a fast paced and highly head bang-able album of incredibly infectious and melodious heavy metal.


Land Of The Rising Sun
What Goes Around Comes Around
Return Of The Souls
To Sanctuary – March For The Voiceless
Night Flyer
Lost Humanity

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