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Nine Covens - "On The Dawning Of Light" (CD)

Nine Covens - "On The Dawning Of Light" CD cover image

"On The Dawning Of Light" track listing:

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. A Burning Ember

Reviewed by on December 7, 2012

"If you’re tired of over-complex, overly-melodic, or overly-experimental forays into extreme music, then 'On the Dawning of Light' will hit the spot and scratch that traditional black metal itch."

With much of the scene having moved past its origins and heading into experimental, melodic, or genre-combining territory, it can be easy to overlook black metal bands that still perform like its 1995. The avant-garde outfits are definitely a necessary departure to prevent stagnation, but there are bands keeping the more traditional aspects of black metal alive that are well worth hearing. Take the example of Nine Covens’ “On the Dawning of Light:” it’s grim, mysterious, unrelenting, and just a touch fuzzy, so it’s essential material for black metal purists.

Nine Covens keeps the music consistently high quality, even with the touch of suitably kvlt-but-not-awful production. The boundaries of the genre are clearly defined and all nine tracks consistently stay within them. The unfailing blast beats and cymbal taps are there, the vocals are as harsh and demonic as anyone could ever ask for, and the music is frozen to the core.

As might be expected, there is a bit of a repetition issue when dealing with traditional black metal of this variety that doesn’t let much of any influences from other realms ever creep in. Each song is a destructive force of blackened awesome, but there’s also not much to distinguish one song from any other. There are only a few minor breaks in the stylistic integrity, like the mid-pace melodic guitars on “As Fire Consumes” and the rockin’ metal licks in the background of “The Fog of Deceit.” The seven minute track “White Star Acception” also offers a slight change up by going entirely instrumental and a bit more atmospheric.

If you’re tired of over-complex, overly-melodic, or overly-experimental forays into extreme music, then “On the Dawning of Light” will hit the spot and scratch that traditional black metal itch. Fans of Drudkh, Woe, or Winterfylleth should work this album into their rotations post-haste.

Highs: Traditional black metal done right and taken straight from the '90s European playbook.

Lows: Repetition might kill this for some - there's not much to distinguish individual tracks.

Bottom line: Traditional black metal makes a comeback with this top-notch, if unfortunately a bit repetitive, foray into the genre's roots.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)