The hands are shaking when you’re about to write a review of the new record from a band that means so much in the EBM/electronic genre. Covenant are in the 30th year of their career and the best way to celebrate was surely a new recording. Their ninth effort has the gloomy title “The Blinding Dark” and believe it suits perfectly with the whole feeling of the album. If you want the perfect description for it, I shall just put some words from the band itself about their new achievement.
“We live in dark, confusing times and Covenant wrote an album about how that makes them feel. In a world that’s stopped making sense, we need to learn how to see in the dark and The Blinding Dark is a triumphant embrace of the strength and resilience of the soul. It’s the dystopian, unforgiving music of the reflective shadows we all carry within us, but often lack the courage to take a good look at. It’s implosive instead of explosive, fueled by cold fury rather than a roaring fire, as beautiful as a collapsed star.”
Wow! Well, what can anyone say to follow that? But I will try to make a clear picture for you of what this album can offer for your musical pleasure. I strongly believe that by far, we’re talking about the darkest album Covenant ever recorded. Of course you will find those synth pop melodies but this time they are darker and the feeling is more grim and melancholic than ever. It seems like the band is trying to open a new chapter in their career, a new direction that we still don’t have a clear vision of what’s going to bring in the future. More atmospheric and more experimental, I’m sure it will surprise their fans and bring some mixed feelings at least for the time being.
I mean would you believe that Covenant would ever cover this space rock/country song of Lee Hazlewood, “Rider On A White Horse” and make it a beautiful duet that may remind you a little bit of Dead Can Dance? I shall say that in some parts of the record I had a strange feeling that the spirit of Nick Cave is somewhere there giving a little drive to the songs. Don’t be fearful of what you read since the electro clubbing tunes are also here with songs like “Sound Mirrors” and “Morning Star” which are of great potential. My favorite track here is “Dies Irae” which is an atmospheric kind of journey with those amazing vocals and a creepy EBM beat. It seems that the album is split into two directions. The atmospheric/darker side, where they experiment with all those different ideas and sounds and with the uptempo/still dark but more brighter side, where the electronic beats take the lead. I’m sure that some of their fans will be a bit frustrated with the first direction that will definitely sound obscure to them. But, if they give time, they will certainly “digest” the band’s new effort and I strongly recommend them to do so.
As a fan of changing and moving forward in almost every aspect of life, I embrace the new chapter of Covenant and find this record interesting and worth to hear. I certainly don’t believe that it will stand out easily with their back catalogue so far but I’m sure it will lead the band to something that we will finally discover in their next effort. You can’t go from the one side of the mountain to the other without a bridge right? So this is the perfect bridge for an even brighter (or must I say darker?) future.
THE BLINDING DARK
2. Close My Eyes
3. Morning Star
4. Cold Reading
5. Rider On A White Horse
7. Dies Irae
8. Sound Mirrors
10. If I Give My Soul
11. Summon Your Spirit