Yesterday  (November 4th) legendary ebm artists Covenant released their new l.p., ‘The Blinding Dark‘. Only few things can be written about these pioneers in electronic music, well known and regarded as among the most influential bands ever in electro. Shaping their engines since 1994’s ‘Dreams Of A Cryotank‘, they immediately gave us two classic anthems (‘Replicant‘ and ‘Shipwreck‘). They took off navigating the genre by releasing LP’s of great inspiration and importance, including monumental electro songs in each release they made, putting their name in the library of every person involved in music, no matter the genre they follow. ‘Sequencer‘ (‘96), ‘Europa‘ (‘98), ‘United States Of Mind‘ (‘00), ‘Northern Light‘ (‘02), ‘Skyshaper‘ (‘06), ‘Modern Ruin‘ (‘11), and ‘Leaving Babylon‘ (‘13) are all albums that consist a glorious course in modern electronic music, offering the audiences more than 25 classic, well established songs, of their trademark sound.

Now, they ‘serve’ us ‘The Blinding Dark‘, another excellent piece of their perfectionist art, more mature than ever, still pioneering the genre while Eskil Simonsson (vocals) in astonishing, concise innings. ‘Dies Irae‘ opens the album in a mid-tempo, rhythmic and melodic environment, as the band prepares the auditor for the true unveil. ‘Sound Mirrors‘, the first single and the first classic gift out of the LP, EBM, is melancholic and melodic, cleverly arranged to uplift us on the refrain, yeah! ‘Interlude‘ is 1.34 minutes of minimal electro, drowned in the voice effects, and next ‘I Close My Eyes‘, is the second classic song that will make many of us sing and dance to it over and over again. A melodic mid-tempo winning song, in the band’s musical status that gives the chills when decided, electro generators and sliding synths that interact with the singer’s attribution, the redeemer universe of Covenant! ‘A Rider On A White Horse‘, an electro generated down-tempo song, filled with the craft in improvising their own melodic darkness, could be considered as a cryo-ballad too. ‘Morning Star‘, a dark astonishing electronic trip, so groovy, with intelligent arrangement on vocals, maybe another classic for the band’s repertoire. ‘If I Give My Soul‘, emerging from old-school EBM and crafted by modern ideas in the genre, a song to shake the body while listening Eskil’s preaching on society’s view in human interactions. Another song, ‘Interlude‘, is an electronic dystopic musing, very clear on its intentions, the output of the world we live in, leading precisely to ‘Cold Reading‘, which has the same darkness, though an up-tempo electro song in a subtractive mood, but listen to the singer’s definition in lyrics! ‘Fulwell‘, another 2.16 minute soundscape, this time in an industrial climax, that leads us to closing ‘Summon Your Spirit‘. What a strange surprise is this: fusion, jazzy, electro improvisation, no vocals, just the output of the blinding dark of our times!

So there we are, in the end of the new Covenant release, a record so typical in the band’s expected high-level, with an intense temper in renewing their music, not hesitating to discover new machines that are put in with great consideration, and the usual expected perfectionism on sound. As usual, ‘The Blinding Dark‘ offers very strong moments, hiding classic gems, and amends the listener with one of this year’s best releases. Last, I didn’t want to say a word about the lyrics, because the band has defined its soul in the press release, and I couldn’t say or judge a single word on it, only that I totally agree, so I copy-paste some of it for your eyes to understand better ‘The Blinding Dark‘: “There is no Berlin Wall to defiantly dance on any more. 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.”

Mike Dimitriou