The Kovenant

The Kovenant

Animatronic

Nuclear Blast

Big letdown here: For as much of a supergroup as they are (Hellhammer of Mayhem, Nagash of Dimmu Borgir), The Kovenant — previously known as Covenant, but forced to change their moniker to avoid confusion with the British electronica group — fail to whip any ideas more interesting than quasi-Sisters of Mercy homage on their second album, Animatronic . And though this may seem out of character for a bunch of black-metal dudes, it’s really not — gothic waters have been well-tapped by such souls for years now. Whereas the debut album, Nexus Polaris , sashayed to an epic black metal sound bolstered by equally epic production, Animatronic merely relies on beyond-epic production to carry trite riffs and rhythms. It’s a decidedly more-commercial blend, mind you, which certainly carries some clout for its different strain of “adventure,” but when all is said and done, the only people who are going to make a fuss about the album are purists crying “sellout.”

Nuclear Blast America, P.O. Box 43618, Philadelphia, PA 19106; http://www.nuclearblast-usa.com

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