The Kovenant
Nexus Polaris


4.0
excellent

Review

by Hawks USER (70 Reviews)
June 29th, 2011 | 34 replies | 6,076 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Kovenant get their feet wet in the black metal scene for the last time with this album.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Anyone who knows of The Kovenant now knows that they're more rooted in the industrial metal field. Well back in the days when they were first starting out, the band played a more melodic style of black metal. They were formed by bassist and vocalist Nagash, who was a former member of Dimmu Borgir, and Blackheart, who was a newcomer to the black metal scene. Now if you're thinking that Nexus Polaris is just going to be some cheap Dimmu Borgir knockoff then you have another thing coming. In fact, The Kovenant doesn't follow any of the formulas that are found in Dimmu Borgir. The only similarity is that they both played melodic black metal.

The Kovenant isn't really like any other band that was coming out of the Norwegian black metal scene in the 90's. They didn't care about murder, church burnings, Satan or any of the cliche things that you would normally expect from a band playing black metal in Norway during that time. They go for a more spacey and cosmic approach to their music. This band didn't need an entire orchestra. Instead they focused on using weird, space-like noises to make it seem as though you're right smack dab in the middle of the solar system. It's pretty apparent what they're trying to portray just by looking at the album cover. With that being said, there's still plenty of talent to be found in the actual instruments themselves. There are plenty of catchy riffs to be found, produced by Blackheart and Astennu, and they like to keep it on the melodic side of things. Not really too much tremolo picking like you would normally find in black metal. It's a lot more riff-friendly than a lot of other black metal albums. Drumming, courtesy of the infamous Hellhammer, doesn't really stand out too much, but still well done. Just a lot of faster, rhythmic stuff and not really too much blast beating going on, which is again uncommon for black metal. Either way, it does it's job. There's even some beautiful piano playing at some points, most notably at the end of Bizarre Cosmic Industries.

Vocally the album is pretty unique as well. What you get from Nagash isn't really something a lot of people were used to hearing from a black metal vocalist during this time. Instead of the regular shrieking, you get more of a semi high-pitched snarl as well as a more throaty shouting and also some creepy talking vocals. The snarl is the more dominant of the three styles, but both are still executed very well and he makes it sound very good. This will definitely be a change from what fans are used to hearing and may take some getting used to, but it's worth it. Female vocals are used sporadically throughout the album as well and are performed by Sarah Jezebel Deva of Cradle of Filth fame.

If you're a fan of black metal and you're looking for something different than the norm, then Nexus Polaris is going to be one of your best bets. Especially for the time that this came out, The Kovenant were doing something that not a lot of bands were doing, and that is being weird and very different. Using different lyrical themes and just a different overall approach to the genre is definitely something that is refreshing. They might be displaying their horrible take on industrial metal nowadays, but back in the 90's, The Kovenant were definitely a prominent band in the Norwegian black metal scene.



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user ratings (51)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
June 29th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes.

Digging: Manners - Pale Blue Light

Bassist540
June 29th 2011



373 Comments


Nice review. I'm just getting into this type of music so i'll check them out.

Hawks
June 29th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man. Yeah this is definitely worth looking into.

Willie
Moderator
June 29th 2011



15875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, but I took issue with a lot of the descriptions ;)

I wouldn't call these guys symphonic black metal at all. They have keyboards, but they're not 'symphonic' and they're not the main focus of the songs. I mean, you described them right in the review but most people will probably remember that you just kept calling them symphonic when "Instead they focused on using weird, space-like noises to make it seem as though you're right smack dab in the middle of the solar system," isn't symphonic at all.

Drumming isn't anything special? It's fucking awesome. He does a lot of cool little things over the course of the album. Vocally, I always described the band as black metal with Dave Mustaine doing the vocals. I know that doesn't fully describe it, but in places it definitely does.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

sifFlammable
June 30th 2011



2741 Comments


"It's pretty apparent what they're trying to portray just by looking at the album cover. "

i would like to add that its not apparent at all

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the tips Willie. I guess that wouldn't really be symphonic. And as for the drumming, it just never really stood out to me. I guess I should say that instead of saying it's not special. I'll edit some things.

MoosechriS
June 30th 2011



4768 Comments


cool review dude, pos'd - i'm going to try and ignore my own curious nature on this one, after saying i was stopping buying music yesterday i bought another album and demo and downloaded the embers discog as well as the devil's dung demo :-s so i'm gonna try and stop myself from looking at this one haha

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha yeah you gotta stop for a while so it's all good. Just check it out when you get some time. If you wanna look into a track or two I'd say look up Bizarre Cosmic Industries or Planetary Black Elements.

MoosechriS
June 30th 2011



4768 Comments


i'll probably youtube them both later and have a listen. I havnt really listened to a lot of symphonic stuff, off the top of my head in my collection i can only think of CRF, Dimmu and Emperor..... oh and chthonic

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well as Willie pointed out, this isn't as symphonic as much is it is melodic and just weird. I had to change that haha.

MoosechriS
June 30th 2011



4768 Comments


ahh cool, i'm almost certain i'll check the songs out now. I've been up since 4am and the missus is off to work in about 30mins leaving me to go stir crazy for about 9 hours until she gets home lol just need to make sure i dont add anymore music to my pile today lol if i get any worse i'm gonna disconnect my internet to try and stop myself lol

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hahaha sounds like a plan. You're backed up enough as it is.

MoosechriS
June 30th 2011



4768 Comments


yeah, i might just turn the laptop off for the day and crank my stereo system up. Just realsied, isnt it like 3am where you are???? do you never sleep dude? I can't function any time after about midnight usually lol

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep it's a little after 3 haha. I just got done hanging out with friends now just chilling. I'm on a fucked up sleep schedule.

MoosechriS
June 30th 2011



4768 Comments


Ahh i work early shift usually so im up at 5am on a week day so im kinda opposite, normally by about 10pm my body is screaming for sleep lol but since ive been sick this week its just made it wierder if anything

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha yeah I feel you on that. I was like that, but I haven't worked in about a month so my shit's all fucked up.

MoosechriS
June 30th 2011



4768 Comments


Shit, that blows dude hope you find work soon man

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

God I hope so too. I'm so low on money right now haha.

MO
June 30th 2011



18181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Always had a soft spot for this album. I remember back in the day when I first did shrooms I tripped so hard to The Sulphur Feast. During the intense solo I pictured waves of energy spiralling all around in circles and different colours. Ah good times.

oh yea good review

"I wouldn't call these guys symphonic black metal at all. They have keyboards, but they're not 'symphonic' and they're not the main focus of the songs."

yea they're more industrial/black I'd say

Hawks
June 30th 2011



34204 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man. They weren't really industrial on this album. Just weird as hell haha.



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