Mysterious UK black Metallers Nine Covens are back with their second album 'On The Dawning Of Light'. This album is described by the band as "Mixing vitriolic black Metal with darker, surrounding atmospheres and marks a defined step forward for the band".
Also conceptually this album takes up where 'On The Coming Of Darkness' left off; exploring how humanity have come to the realisation that they have been held under control for too long, broken free and moved on. Framed through the perspective of religious belief, this album represents a wider social commentary about the state of the modern world and the subjugation of all people. “
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Opening with 'Origin Of Light', an atmospheric distorted build up and then the vitriolic vocals kick in, the tempo changes and classic black Metal riffs make this track disturbing yet catchy.
'As Fire Consumes' has a catchy up tempo opener, overlaid by a clean sharp lead guitar which gives a strong feel of flames advancing and engulfing. Incisive, interesting tempo changes and a whole lot of seriously mental drum work.
'At The Ocean's Strand', has a fast tempo with the addition of a deeper vocal growl used at one point adding interest and darker elements within the track, fading out on a sustained distorted note.
On 'The Mist Of Death', the distorted riff intro and sinister drum beat give the feel of something ominous approaching and gaining on you, the slower pace of the track and laboured vocals adding a deathly morbid feel. The track drops away towards the end and the mist dissipates.
'The Fog of Deceit' is faster paced and the guitars have a sinister haunting edge to their repeat riff. The pace becomes intense midway and sees the return of the deep sinister growl. Crashing cymbals add much to the depth of the music and multiple twists and turns in the tempo keep you fully focused on this sinister yet catchy track.
A powerful vocal growl accompanies the frantic drum and guitars as 'To Quench A Raging Flame' opens. I liked how the sound momentarily dropped away to a distortion about half way through. The final minute builds to an intense breakneck pace before falling away and ending on a distorted scream.
'White Star Acception' opens and continues at a slower pace, much as you might expect for a longer length track, with a distant, haunting and melancholic atmosphere to the guitars and the drums skilfully adding a subtitle texture and rhythm to the background. The track drops away to simple guitar halfway, briefly, before returning to carve out the remainder of the melancholic musical journey. As a seven minute instrumental you would imagine it would get a bit tedious but it doesn't, something hypnotic holds onto your thoughts as you listen.
Haunting distant repeat guitar riffs and frantic drum work are overlaid by harrowing vocal screams on 'Over The Ocean's Way'. Several dramatic tempo changes midway leave you excitedly wondering where the musical journey will take you next.
' A Burning Ember' begins with a sinister distorted repeat riff opener, this riff is repeated cleanly by the lead guitar and sharply and overlaid as the track progresses adding depth and interest to this final track.
'On The Dawning Of Light' is a deeply emotional and intense album with excellent vocals that are at times a desperate agonising scream, others a deeper growl, with powerful drum work that adds a lot to the texture and atmosphere, as do the different guitar applications.
For me, a good black Metal album is like a journey you are forced to face and this does just that. A high quality album from the UK's most mysterious black Metal outfit.
I liked 'On The Coming Of Darkness' but I love 'On The Dawning Of Light', nine excellent tracks that are hard to pick a favourite from, such is the consistency of quality. Available on November 12th from Candlelight Records.