Nine Covens

...On The Coming Of Darkness

Written by: PP on 20/12/2011 05:20:24

Who are Nine Covens, you ask, but I have no answer. They reside in the UK, and are supposedly composed of "current and ex-members of key extreme metal bands from the last decade", but since they are following in the footsteps of Ghost by concealing their identity, nobody really seems to be sure. Some sources are speculating that at least Winterfylleth member Megatron and Paul Ryan of Cradle Of Filth fame are among the lineup. And the mystery doesn't end there either: for one reason or another, their debut album "...On The Coming Of Darkness" consists of four tracks divided into nine sub tracks: "On The Resurrection And The Harrowing Of Hell" has three parts, whereas "On The Ascension And The Torment Of Hell", "On The Day Of Judgement" and "The Exiles Complaint" each consist of two musically disconnected, but lyrically conjoined segments.

The genre is black metal, and specifically the melodic and progressive kind. Nine Covens have far more in common with the atmospheric tremolo of fellow UK bands like Wodensthrone and Winterfylleth than the Scandinavian black metal scene, as they rely on significant amounts of carefully progressing melody and memorable black metal riffing than apocalyptic tension and savage soundscapes. The only exception is their vocalist, whose tormented shrieks are from the monotonous end of vocals, and really the only weakness in Nine Covens' sound. On occasion, they provide a good morbid contrast point to the reverb-laden melodic tremolo, but they have next to no variation throughout the album so the resulting feeling is underwhelming.

But given that black metal isn't meant to sound too melodic, they are perhaps necessary because there are certainly times when Nine Covens sound like one of the most melodic black metal bands you'll come across. Specifically so during Pt. 3 to "On The Resurrection And The Harrowing Hell" and both parts to "On The Ascension And The Torment Of Hell". This is a welcome move given the success of the two other W's mentioned in this review, and the ambience-driven melody suits their sound well. Check this out if you ever thought black metal was all about evil, cold, winter-esque soundscapes; it'll surprise you with its warm guitar tone all-around.

Download: On The Ascension And The Torment Of Hell Pt 1 & 2
For the fans of: Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone,
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 10.10.2011
Candlelight Records

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