Album: The blinding dark
Genre: Electro Pop / Future Pop / Electronic
Release Date: 4th November 2016
Label: Dependent (Alive)
The band was founded in April 1986 in Helsingborg, Sweden, by Joakim Montelius, Clas Nachmanson and Eskil Simonsson. They chose the band’s name from the Bible as COVENANT means solemn alliance to express their deep attachment and friendship. Already with the first album ‘Dreams of a Cryotank‘, released in 1994, the band was quite successful in the German Electro scene. The second album, ‘Sequencer‘, conquered quickly the clubs in Europe and even the USA. With the following albums COVENANT manifested its position to be one of the important bands in the Electronic / Electro Pop genre. Furthermore the band is known to be an excellent in performing live. As thoroughbred musicians the guys showcased an extraordinary performance at the “Gothic meets Klassik” event in 2015. At live shows only Eskil Simonsson performs (as singer) while the two musicians on the keyboards and backing vocals/ guest vocals changed several times. Joakim Montelius works in the studio and doesn’t perform with COVENANT since several years now while Clas has left the band completely. COVENANT has launched 16 albums (incl. 4 different versions of ‘Sequencer‘, 2 of ‘Northern Light‘, 2 live albums and a single collection) and with this one 17 EPs, contributed an eponymic song for the German vampire thriller ‘Wir sind die Nacht‘ (We are the night) and a DVD.
After the release of the single ‘Sound mirrors’ as an appetiser the anticipation for the album was high. And likewise the lyrics and music are quite sombre and could be interpreted as a statement to the actual political atmosphere with the decreasing empathy for the refugees, the growing fear of foreign infiltration and also the increasing of a kind of selfishness. Opener is an instrumental of noises before the next song in mid-tempo sets in with an appealing melody though more striking are the lyrics that seems to reflect the situation of how a refugee might feel. The next song captures the album title ‘The blinding dark’ which is actually a paradox. Here the lyrics describe someone doing actually exactly the things that are harmful. The third song has the potential for a great dance track, up-tempo with the intense bass beats. If there wasn’t the vocal of Eskil and the heartbeat-like drums, the following slow song, a duet with a female singer who's singing is partly alienated by the vocoder and looping, it has more of a song of APOPTYGMA BERZERK.
After an interlude, ‘Dies Irae’ is for me the most disappointing song of the album as to me it has a taste of Schlager music. Eventually the aforementioned single ‘Sound mirrors’ brings some more energy back followed by another interlude which has more of a piece of an eighties serials soundtrack. The second to last song varies from the lyrics of the songs before as it could be interpreted as a love song, nice but not really exciting. Finisher of the album is again an instrumental song which takes up again the heartbeat-like drums of ‘A rider on a white horse’ before it ends with some white noise. Had the already released single sound promising I found my expectations quite disappointed. And I have listened to it umpteenth times at home and in the car but it didn’t really grow on me. It has some nice moments but partly I got the feeling this is music of old men for old people. With all these interludes I had the impression that these were just fillers. Only because of some musical highlights and the lyrics I could come to this rating. Had they been missing the album had got even less points.
The album is available as CD, limited 2 CD in a hardcover booklet version or vinyl or you can buy the download version on iTunes.
02. I close my eyes
03. Morning star
04. Cold reading
05. A rider on a white horse
07. Dies Irae
08. Sound mirrors (Fulwell)
10. If I give my soul
11. Summon your spirit
Eskil Simonsson - songwriting, vocals
Joakim Montelius - programming, studio-only member
Daniel Jonasson - live musician: keyboard, backing vocals
Daniel Myer - live musician: keyboards, e-drums, vocals
http://www.covenant.se / https://www.facebook.com/Covenant-OFFICIAL-156626197713557
Total: 8.5 / 10