by dashedtopieces USER (2 Reviews)
April 25th, 2019 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a satisfying and diverse tech prog metal concept album

Covenant is the sophomore release from tech prog metal band, Unprocessed, out of Wiesbaden, Germany. The band describes their “highly diversifying” sound as a “technically sophisticated modern style of Progressive Metal.” Much like the album cover, Covenant’s music reflects a descent into “the mirrors of a world beyond the abyss.” Within this electro-metallic soundscape, the aggression of Meshuggah’s ObZen and the progressive ambience of The Ocean’s Pelagial and Fallujah’s The Flesh Prevails all melt into the Sci-Fi soundtracks and imagery of Tron: Legacy, Oblivion and Blade Runner 2049. Covenant is a concept album that paints its prog metal portrait on the digital canvas of an electronic dream world. The result is a satisfying journey through a diverse sonic landscape where intricate technical details continue to emerge.

The title track opener is a burst of energy that sets the stage for Haven, one of the album’s strongest tracks, both musically and lyrically. To fully appreciate Haven and catch a glimpse of this band’s technical strengths, check out the official video. Vocalist Manuel Gardner Fernandes alternates respectably between heartfelt clean vocals and spirited screams. His vocal performance, though, is not nearly as impressive as watching him shred Haven’s guitar solo with tight precision and an otherworldly feel reminiscent of Steve Vai. Malleable is another excellent track full of prog diversity, skillful drumming and funky bass work. Downshifting into a more introspective mood, The Mirror is a turning point on the album marked by acoustic piano passages and clean vocals. Near journey’s end, Exhale is a potent dose of raw sound fueled by the fury of guest vocalist, Vincent Schmitz, from Aeons of Corruption. With song lengths averaging around five minutes, each member has time to shine and the music has room to breathe without dragging. The use of electronic elements feels thoughtful and contributes to the consistent tone throughout the album without seeming gimmicky. Overall, the lyrics are not particularly poetic or powerful and certain words and phrases feel clunky, but this is overshadowed by the creative song structures, pervasive atmosphere and undeniable talent displayed by each member.

The journey to appreciate Covenant can be challenging and fraught with misconceptions for those not familiar with this style of metal. One could say the sound is somewhat of a mixture between progressive metalcore and atmospheric djent, but that doesn’t really matter. Unprocessed do their own thing and it works. Covenant draws the listener back in for more, rewarding them each time with new discoveries and a deeper appreciation. Initially, the extended electronic sections at the end of certain songs were confusing. However, this isn’t the typical offering of nine random bangers and a ballad, all laid out in traditional song structures. Each song flows into the next, blurring the lines between tracks as the music tells its story. After several spins, it was helpful to go back and read the lyrics from beginning to end, without the music, before diving back in. As the bigger picture begins to emerge, the listening experience evolves in a deeply satisfying way. Listening to Covenant is like watching a movie; a virtual rollercoaster ride of sounds and emotions. The final track, Exuent, is a soothing, electronic outro as if the closing credits of a movie were rolling across the screen. It’s that moment of attempting to process what just happened before immediately jumping back on for another ride. To top it off, the production is fantastic with a well-balanced mix, crystal clear synth sounds and bass that rumbles and kicks.

Covenant is an excellent album from a talented, young band who’s found their niche. Unprocessed have created the complete package with this album, full of atmosphere and technical intricacies, best experienced in full versus piece-by-piece. If Unprocessed’s 2014 debut and more recent EP flew under the radar, Covenant should put this band on the map for anyone who enjoys creative, technically sophisticated Progressive Metal.

user ratings (34)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 25th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

great review, glad to see you took on my album nomination and I completely agree with that rating. have a pos

April 25th 2019


but what about the covenant attack on reach

April 26th 2019


Yo these guys are from my area. Glad to see them succeed. Review is well-written, although the first paragraph is kinda cringy.

April 26th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

@yourmindsdecide Thanks for the feedback. Seemed like an interesting way to begin at the time, but I see what you mean and I have to agree with you. Only the last sentence is relevant and it fits nicely as the opening line of the second paragraph.

April 29th 2019


Good stuff, although I suggest the next few things:

1. Don't directly address the reader. It generally comes off a bit cringy or unprofessional, as people said before. You could've gone with something like this: "Much like the album cover, Covenant's music is focused on reflecting the 'mirrors beyond the abyss' that feature Meshuggah's aggression, etc."
2. A personal thing, but still; don't write questions. It looks like you don't know what you're talking about, although you are. I would've rephrased the third paragraph with something like "One could say their sound is somewhat of a mixture between progressive metalcore and atmospheric djent, but that doesn't really matter."

Digging: Giacinto Scelsi - Natura Renovatur

April 29th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

@50iL Thanks for the excellent recommendations. Made several edits based on your feedback.

June 24th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really good album, great review.

July 11th 2019


They just got stolen 2000$ worth of stuff at a gig. That's sad. Guitarist seems talented.

July 16th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

Artificial void sounds like complete fire so far.

August 13th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

Nice instrumentals and ambience, but the overproduced drums really bug me

August 13th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

I remember something bogging this down for me... I think the vocals were bland? Idr

Digging: Rollins Band - The End of Silence

August 13th 2019


Album Rating: 3.5

The new one is way better sounding, which is great

December 1st 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

Some great leads on here, atm I feel more taken in by Covenant over Artificial

Get Low
February 16th 2020


This is pretty decent.

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