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Nine Covens - On The Dawning Of Light

Nine Covens
On The Dawning Of Light
by Dorothy Cheng at 31 December 2012, 1:45 PM

Mysterious English Black Metallers NINE COVENS, carrying with them their intriguing enigma of anonymity, return with “On The Dawning Of Light”,their latest effort and second album released through Candlelight Records.

While most bands in the Black Metal genre have been seen to evolve into a more technique-heavy and experimental approach, NINE COVENS has proven with their latest album that they are still sticking to their roots and playing black metal music that sounds like what first emerged in the 1990s, keeping true with the stylistic story-telling that resounds so truly within the hearts of Black Metallers.

“On The Dawning Of Light” opens with an impressive blast of gooseflesh-inducing sound: a crashing wave of guitars and cymbals – but a preview for all the intense music to follow.

The tempo throughout the album ranges from slow to mid-paced to fast, with the unfailing blast beats and crashing cymbals accenting the atmospheric, demonic feel to each song, backed by traditional vocals – screams that through its execution, sends out a message of pain, agony, and misery. The guitars also do a great job of projecting a very murky, raw, and primordial musicality with an abundance of old school Black Metal riffs.

The album deals with the usual occult and demonic topics but manages to incorporate some new ideas in its lyrics this time, dealing directly with issues of humanity and freedom. However, every now and then, some surprising elements that seem to incorporate Thrash musicality can be heard, making the whole album quite diverse and pleasantly surprising to the listener.

The standout track for me was the seven-and-a-half-minute long “White Star Acception”, which broke the boundaries by going entirely instrumental. This proved to be effective when its impressionistic musicality, in its intangible ways, managed to work into me a real sense of what the band was trying to convey in terms of their message, despite there being no lyrics to read into.

The production is great, with each instrumental track clearly distinguishable from the other and if there are slight buzzes, it seems to fit in consistently with the tone of the song.

As is to be expected, the album has a bit of a repetition issue going on, and while it may seem to some that the band was simply trying to tie all the songs together with a common musical theme, it does become difficult to distinguish the next song from the other.

However, “On the Dawning of Light” is still a good album which sticks to a traditional Black Metal approach that will put purists on a high to finally break from the over-experimental forms of black metal we are commonly getting today.

The album really intensifies the band’s mysterious image by drowning the listeners in grim, dark, and sinister sounds. It has proven to be an essential record for fans of bands such as WINTERFYLLETH, with influences from such legends of Black Metal like DARKTHRONEEMPEROR, and DISCHARGE charging NINE COVEN’s music.

3 Star Rating

1. Origin of Light
2. As Fire Consumes
3. At the Ocean’s Strand
4. The Mist of Death
5. The Fog of Deceit
6. To Quench a Raging
7. White Star Acception
8. Over the Ocean’s Way
9. Burning Ember
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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