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Black Lodge, as fellow reviewer Insignium puts it, has always been an incredibly elusive band. After forming in 1993, the band did absolutely -nothing- until Autumn 1994, when they started writing the music for Covet. Not until late in the summer of '95 was it finished, and then the band spent months recording, not finishing until later taht year in December. Afterwards, Head Not Found released the CD to an apathetic public, the band immediately split up, and as of now, only Black Lodge's bassist, Halvor Larsen, has re-entered the metal scene.
Despite the lukewarm sales of Covet, it is without a doubt, the most brilliant collection of musical genius ever to be released. Mixing elements of doom, gothic, thrash, black, and even death metal into their work, each of Covet's 7 songs is a mindfuck in its own right. The style of the songs range from being as peaceful and melodic as Leaves' Eyes, to as chaotic and dissonant as a Cryptopsy song.
The album kicks off with Dissonance, which, right from the beginning, creates an eerie air of suspense, despite the beautiful female vocals which introduce the track. The mood of the song varies, beginning with a peaceful-yet-melancholy collection of dirging guitars and wailing male vocals, but it changes gradually as Kim's voice takes on a more sinister, mocking tone, and the instrumental work speeds up exponentially. Quickly again, though, the song changes back to an ultra-slow bit of funeral doom, only to change again shortly thereafter until the track ends abruptly, moving onto Mother Urge.
The second track is the fastest one on the whole CD, filled with unexpectedly brutal male vocals, and even Kim joins in, adding her own screams, for the second half of the song. Even more dissonant than Dissonance, Mother Urge is as much a mindfuck as any Pig Destroyer song, but without the lame punk elements thrown in. Things die down in the last 10 seconds of the track, which then fades into # (rips as "Untranslated"). A hypnotic, eerie, droning voice and Larsen's bass are all that's used in #, and the lyrics are taken from Hamlet. The last 27 seconds of the song, though, are just the voice repeating "All life...has gone...all life...has gone," a play on Hamlet's "all -light- has gone", but acheiving the same effect. The fourth track, titled "Cube", picks up where # left off, with Moller still chanting, but quickly changes into a truly rageful song, filled with misanthropy and cynicism, supported wonderfully by blasting dirges from the guitars and excellent, sporadic bits of drumming. The song changes completely every 42 seconds (I kid you not), and gets slower and slower during the last two pieces, before stopping abruptly.
Tower Inertia is my favorite song on the entire CD. From the beginning, both vocalists take on a mournful tone as the guitars and drums support it, with Halvor mysteriously absent. Nonetheless, the song goes on, picking up to almost-normal speed at times, but then dying down, as the guitars stop, the male vocals stop, and the drums tap faintly in the background as Kim whispers slowly, almost inaudibly. The music picks up again quickly after a seconds-long stop about two thirds of the way into the track, and the male voice is back and enraged as ever. Although the minimalism of the track remains, so much is expressed through the sole guitar and alternating vocals, it truly is incredible.
After Tower Inertia ends on a rather melancholy note, Travesty picks up and destroys any semblance of funeral doom. Brutal and fast as all hell, Larsen's bass fights with the two guitars as Hoel bellows with fury for the entire track. I won't lie, though - some of the guitar riffs sound oddly like they were taken...directly...from Celtic Frost - Cherry Orchards...just sped up. If you haven't listened to Cold Lake upwards of 50 times before, though, and don't have it playing simultaneously, you probably won't even notice, and the song will sound just fine to you. Nonetheless, Travesty blares on angrily for its 7 and a half minute duration, and then stops suddenly at the end with the word "harsh."
Covet's final track, Mortal, begins almost as slowly as Tower Inertia, with the drums faintly tapping in the background and all the guitars buzzing quietly. This illusion of peace is quickly shattered, though, as the vocals return. Hoel's voice has taken on an air of acceptance of his fate, and Kim's joins in, still mocking, but with an ever more superior quality to it, knowing that she's won. For the first time on the CD, the guitars and drums complement each other and play in harmony, creating a decidely unsettling dark aura of closure. The two vocalists sing in unison: Hoel, beaten and submissive, Kim, strong and dominant. The music plays on, shifting from melodic and victorious to chaotic and threatening again, but with a much more sinister air. The track and the CD end with a final, whispered plea from Hoel for his death, before everything stops without warning, and Covet comes to a close.
Covet, although a long-forgotten and never-acclaimed album, was released over a decade ago to an unresponsive metal scene. In 2004, though, Head Not Found put out a reissue of Covet, and thanks to the wonders of the internet, sold all 1500 copies to a much more appreciative public. Despite this, though, the band is still incredibly unknown, which is always a plus. If you manage to locate a copy of Covet, even if it's $250 (the price of my original, bought in 03), by all means, *buy it*. Both kvlt as fuck and incredible, Covet is easily the most amazing musical work ever spawned.