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July 22, 2024

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Northern Light (Metropolis Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Throughout the years Covenant's remained a benchmark talent as Electronic music makers worldwide. Recognized as slightly less polished yet still on an equal footing as such legendary acts as Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, Kraftwerk or Front 242 types, the progressively pared Swedish trio continues to create instilling audio imagery that both stimulates and captivates a listening mind on multiple levels of an aerobically inclined and intellectual kind. Thus it is little surprise that their latest "Northern Light" release is another step forward in dynamics and depth from even that which they'd done on last year's more technically driven "United States Of Mind." Earliest moments indicate a close relationship between the two as fiery opening tracks like "Monochrome" and the dazzling "Call The Ships To Port" raise an immediate rush that come away like heavy adrenal downpours on dance floor addicts with little use for ambient spatial filler. "Invisible & Silent" reveals a greater character depth among the more significant of defining features from then to now, similarly seated in an early DM tradition that's haunting, stirring and dissonant met and resolved by a crusading chorus of hope amidst Eskil's (singer) thoughtful "While I shape of things to come--" The majestic portrayal of "Winter" arrives similarly, speaking of solitude in a silent almost secluded setting -- see album cover for reference. It is rare in an age where followers arrive to an overcrowded scene in droves hoping to fulfill some future vision or perceived void in a yet to be discovered technological advance and be the next truly declared leader of many. Perhaps the greatest attribute to Covenant's talents are that they were once that band for many then, of a then yet to be discovered generation of underground music followers; For many listeners today, they'll discover an album like this and right away perceive it as "new". In spite of Covenant's decade and a half history, they've managed to still make considerable yet careful advances through time, in step with modernity, but never out of touch with tradition. The pages are filled with the many who've tried and failed; attempts to advance met with immediate retreat and subsequent withdrawal. Covenant's "Northern Light" reveals an emerging talent with a since fulfilled potential, ranked and acclaimed within the classes of EBM, SynthPop, and any and all forms of digitized greatness bore of future vision and evocative thought.
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