Thursday 18 July 2013

Review: Covenant – 'Last Dance'

'Last Dance' 

Taken from the band's forthcoming studio album 'Leaving Babalon', this EP aims to set the stage for a newly reorganised Covenant. Their first output since the departure of Haujobb's Daniel Myer and the hiring of Andreas Catjar, 'Last Dance' feels like the band are throwing their cards on the table... but do they still have an ace up their sleeve?

The title track, written by founder/vocalist Eskil Simonsson has the classic hallmarks of a Covenant track. His haunting baritone meanders through catchy synth melodies and dance friendly beats. Yet, it does come off as a bit of a standard exercise for the band – ticking the boxes as it were – but it is an undeniable crowd-pleaser. The Modulate remix however gives it a harder edge and adds a little spice which will have a lot of club DJs salivating. While the final version of the song turns things around a little for a much slower and darker affair.

'We Go Down' is a more playful track. Slower and more minimalistic, it's percussive backbone and simple bassline make it very catchy but it maintains a refreshingly quirky edge. 'I Scan The Surface' carries this quirkiness on by breaking out the chip-tune sounds for a bouncy backing track juxtaposed with Simonsson's sombre vocal performance. The EP finishes things off with 'Slowdance' feeding of the dark vibes of the third version of 'Last Dance' it delves into dark ambient waters while Simonsson gives a great spoken word performance.

This is a very nice release from Covenant that flirts with elements of their older sound while opening new doors. The fact that all the members are getting in on the writing process gives it a bracing sense of variety that feels like a nice step up from 'Modern Ruin', and maintains the tease of the new directions the band are playing with. It will therefore be nice to hear how much of this is carried over onto the new album, or whether this is merely a devilish exercise destined to remain a curio.  

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