'Covenant' has been providing the scene with great, dark dance music for over 20 years now. The band line up changed a lot of times and so the musical path did, too. 'The Blinding Dark' is an awesome title for their ninth studio album. The harbinger 'Sounds Mirrors' in August this year hit like a bomb. Will the shock wave continue to spread on the album?
The bright side of the blinding dark
Let's start with the highlights. 'Sound Mirrors' is already heavy on club rotation since August. This track should already be well-known, and there's no need to question the greatness of this uber-hit anymore.
I especially like the track 'Cold Reading'. It starts with some classic SciFi sound samples and it has the 'Covenant' typical but very subtle noise in the background escorting the whole track's length. This song really reminds me of some of their 90s songs.
The song 'I Close My Eyes' is really something new in the 'Covenant' universe. It wraps itself in a mid-tempo kind of swinging beat. Really relaxing it drifts more into the Synth Pop genre than any other song before. The following song 'Morning Star', on the other hand, is an ice-cold electro bastard with rather moody beats. The sonically feeling sweeps between grim and melancholic – it's an awesomely dark track.
The song "Dies Irae" is accompanied by spherical surfaces and thus reaches a special 70s Space Age attitude. Eskil's gentle voice floating over it all covers my skin with goosebumps. Somehow, the song line holds a plaintive feeling as if telling from things long lost in the past.
Some serious words
How would you rate a track that gives you 2:10 minutes of windy noises? Right, but due to my big respect of 'Covenant' I give generous 2 stars for the intro 'Fulwell'. How about over 5 minutes of deep slow bongo drum sounds? The outro 'Summon Your Spirit' (which is an alternative instrumental version of the track 'Rider On A White Horse') provides this on 'The Blinding Dark'. Sorry, but 2 stars for that too. Also the two unnecessary, instrumental interludes I have to devaluate with 2 stars each.
And then there is this song 'Rider On A White Horse' that I already mentioned. Well, usually I am rewarding variety on an album. In this case, however, I find the track totally deprecated. This is a duet in the style of a strange kind of western country song in an electronic wrap up. With all respect, but this song does not work for me.
It's a very mixed album both by quality and music style. And I feel a deep pain and much sorrow to rate this album strictly track by track, but these are the rules on Electrozombies that every album has to face here. Without these mentioned blackouts in the Some serious words section, the album could have had a gorgeous 4.5 star rating! In other words 'The Blinding Dark' is an awesome 6‑track EP with 5 additional, trivial gap fillers.
As a long term fan of 'Covenant' I preordered the deluxe version of 'The Blinding Dark' and I know I will be happy with it. Sure, this isn't an album to kneel down for. Rather is this album to be valuated as one of the weakest studio performance overall yet. But with the few highlights a definitely buying recommendation for every 'Covenant' fan.
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