United States of Mind
Not long after the whirlwind of the band’s 1998 effort, Europa , had calmed down, the Swedish trio return with a fresh ensemble of expertly structured EBM tracks to take listeners on an aural journey of unexpected proportions. One listen to the opening track, “Like Tears in Rain,” is enough to reassure the music industry that Covenant are true leaders and innovators in their genre. Expertly arranged lyrics and attention to song writing and sonic development have elevated the band to new heights.
The relentless “No Man’s Land” follows, and quickly proves itself as the dance floor commando to be reckoned with. Smooth ambient silhouettes combined with driving beats and creative grooves give this track an infectious rhythm that aims for your soul and never lets go. “Afterhours,” the album’s third track, slows down the BPM’s to allow for some breathing room and exposes the listener to yet another creative style. “Tour de Force” comes on strong like a runaway locomotive, serving a fresh menu of high energy dance rhythms and massive electro wizardry. Covenant not only shine with their mastery of synthesizer and keyboard techniques, but also excel in the flawless production of Eskil Simmonson’s passionate vocals.
The breakbeat-inspired “Unforgiven” takes their music towards a different plateau of experimentation and sampling. It is not until track eight is reached, “Dead Stars,” that we are given a taste of the band’s never-ending quest for musical perfection. Surrounded by pulsing dance beats and driving soundscapes, “Dead Stars” may be the most “commercial” track ever written. Don’t be surprised to hear this track on your favorite alternative radio station.
The astounding “One World One Sky” is just plain orgasmic. This is as good as EBM music gets. This song reminds of Underworld’s “Born Slippy,” while maintaining the true flavor of Covenant. “One World One Sky” is an anthem from this Swedish musical force that is raising the standards others will follow in electronic music production. A must have for fans of their earlier releases, and those with a thirst for the best that electro has to offer!
Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com