Metal Review: Nine Covens – On the Coming of Darkness (2011)

Nine Covens - On the Coming of Darkness (2011)Candlelight Records offered the following on recently signed Nine Covens: “Featuring current and ex-members of some of the key extreme bands from the last decade, Nine Covens came together to explore the darker, more brooding aspects of black metal, and in doing so, have created a virulent, belligerent and passionate account of the weakness that exists in humanity.”

By listening to 2011’s On the Coming of Darkness, it is hard to pin down the identity of these mysterious, cloaked musicians, but they sure have the skills that you would expect from members of these “key extreme bands.” What we do know about this release though, is that it is well thought out and perhaps even better executed.

On the Coming of Darkness is segmented into four sections: On the Resurrection and the Harrowing of Hell, On the Ascension and the Torment of Hell, On the Day of Judgement and The Exiles Complaint. While each of these segments have their own identity, they also do sound like they belong together, and for what seems like a tall task, the album stands its ground and brings it all home in a nice fashion.

The production is sharp, but raw at the same time. The guitar tones are especially prevalent in the mix and, for that, I am thankful. They have a nice tone to them. The drums are as ample to the task of adding a unique layer to the sound. The vocals are sharp and raspy with just the right feel for the album.

The band switches from pure black metal to doom infused riffs from hell without even a thought. I find myself enjoying the latter more, but that is not to take away from the former. In addition to the heavy aspects of the album, we are also treated to some ambient, melodic elements such as On the Day of Judgement: Pt.2: A New Light For the Earth Shall Shine, featuring Grutle From Enslaved. its beauty is not hidden anywhere on this track. It comes at you from the outset and leaves you with an intense track offering an amazing atmosphere along with its haunting beautiful. Swaying from clean vocals to utter shouts of horror, this track is easily the highlight of the album.

Overall, On the Coming of Darkness, while repetitive at times, is a very nice release that you should be lining up for.

On the Coming of Darkness Track Listing:
On the Resurrection and the Harrowing of Hell
01. Pt. 1: To Heaven’s Door in Swart Night
02. Pt. 2: Concealed in Darkness, He
03. Pt. 3: Resided to the Darkness, Fall

On the Ascension and the Torment of Hell
04. Pt. 1: Cold Exile Of A Fallen Idol
05. Pt. 2: In Darkness Find The Light Of Solace

On the Day of Judgement
06. Pt. 1: Quake Before Thy Earthly Judge
07. Pt. 2: A New Light For the Earth Shall Shine

The Exiles Complaint
08. Pt. 1: A Friendless Exile
09. Pt. 2: A Mind Sorrows Rest