Picture of Covenant

Nexus Polarus

Covenant - Nexus Polarus ©1998 Nuclear Blast
1. The Sulphur Feast
2. Bizarre Cosmic Industries
3. Planetarium
4. The Last Of The Dragons
5. Bringer Of The Sixth Sun
6. Dragonheart
7. Planetary Black Elements
8. Chariots Of Thunder

Covenant's leader Nagash claimed that his day job Dimmu Borgir was "too easy" and got bored a lot with that band's music, so he formed this outfit to satisfy his non-D.B. musical needs. In other words, it's time for another side project with Hellhammer (who has drummed in nearly every black metal band from Scandanavia ever...don't believe me? Go read the liner notes of your albums now!). I've read accusations that Covenant is a sellout as they don't play "pure" black metal. In fact, what they are playing really isn't black metal. Think of it as a handful of talented musicians with black metal based yammerings utilizing a symphonic edge. Nagash really isn't a very gifted vocalist overall; his rasps, growls, and sore throat causing vocalizations are the most annoying aspect of this album. He'll try doing different things with his voice (a hardcore yell here or a misplaced screech there) but the complex nature of the music deserves a more talented vocalist. The closest tag point for the band is Arcturus (which makes sense since both Sverd and Hellhammer play in that group) so that will give fans of Aspera Hiems Symfonia something to investigate. To me, Covenant is an outfit that is showing they can play their instruments (especially Hellhammer's dexterious rhythm patterns...this guy is possibly the best drummer in black metal circles hands down) but not quite as amazing as some other bands out there. Each time I listen to this, however, it does grow on me (which is the case of complex music such as this) so perhaps in a month I'll be wearing those C-armbands. Yellow light...proceed with caution.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1998

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