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THE Kovenant - 90%

DiSoRdErBitcH, August 31st, 2013

This is awesome, they brought back their black metal roots with industrial touches. This release is something really special. It takes me back to when I heard this album originally. It was great, but this "remix" album is lot better. It takes this album to next level and creates something new and unique. I know that many bands use industrial and black metal together, but Kovenant did this better.

The album starts with this dark atmospheric industrial loop and seconds later gives a blasting start. It reminds me of Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and is filled with electronic and symphonic elements like this remix album. The only minus here is that it can be little bit noisy, maybe because of the mixing and sometimes it's very hard to focus on listening to just one instrument, but for the record I understand it is hard to add electronic synths to album recorded first with only black metal + symphonic synths.

In times before the light remix album, it works well and makes first version sound like something is missing. It does miss these electronic effects and keyboards and this theme unites it with other Kovenant albums. I would personally love to hear this album re-recorded.

My favorite song here is definitely "In Times Before the Light". It's complex, all the way awesome, and has a warm synthesizer theme and melodic orchestra. The vocals are evil and haunt your ears all night.

I recommend this to every industrial black metal fan. For all the people who enjoy electronic touch.

Surprisingly good. - 85%

The_Ghoul, August 3rd, 2008

I actually like this. Despite the negative attention this has gotten from close minded black metal fans, this is actually pretty good. And no, it's not disco black metal, this is industrial black metal. Having actually been to industrial raves, I can see what The Kovenant were trying to do. Is it a success?

Yes. If you can appreciate this on its own merit without comparing it to the original, it's a good album. It's nice to recognize the tunes and compare to the original, but to appreciate it, you really have to appreciate it as a standalone album, not as a gimmick. It will turn off a lot of metalheads, I know, because this is more industrial than black metal. Way more industrial. You actually have to like industrial to like this. If you don't like industrial, you won't like this.

The actual music is basically the melodies of In Times Before the Light, with a much lighter emphasis on guitars, v-drums (or programmed drums, I don't know which), vocoded vocals, and much heavier and more industrial sounding keyboards. The structure of the songs have been slightly rearranged; they are recognizable, but are definately industrial, and not really black metal.

If you're a fan of industrial or electronic music in general, then you will dig this. If you're strictly a metalhead, this will probably make you hurl, especially after listening to the original. I personally enjoy this. It's not perfect, but it's a good listen and definitely carries a different atmosphere than the original.

About as useful as a DVD rewinder - 36%

PhantomMullet, February 13th, 2008

The Kovenant is an easy band to bash, mostly for their really cheesy attempts at trying to make some sort of disco black metal. But I must say some of their releases do have a lasting appeal to them if you're into such a type of music. Ever since Covenant became the Kovenant, the change in the music has been in such a high magnitude. Covenant was actually a pretty good melodic black metal band that was far superior to the more popular Dimmu Borgir. Their first full length album, In Times Before the Light was absolutely magnificent. But then when they became The Kovenant, they remixed In Times Before the Light and completely fucked it up!

For those of you who remember the original In Times Before the Light, the remix is basically an electronic based version with a lower emphasis on guitars, almost no bass this time around, and well, just a very artificial sound that doesn't work.

Gone is the magic, atmosphere, darkness, gloom, and sorrow from the original album. Any sign of emotion found on this remix can mostly be considered fake and false. The production is actually WORSE. Nagash/Lex icon sounds like a baby screeching to compete with the out of tuned synths and guitars in the background. And from what I recall, there are no more very low-pitched spoken words that were prevalent on the original version, which was indeed a cool aspect of that release.

Despite this remix being mostly a fuck up, there are some redeeming features. The majestic keyboard passages are still there, Dragonstorms and Towards the Crown of the Night still sound okay, and it's not like they dropped out any songs on purpose, but these features aren't saving this remix much.

Unfortunately, for the songs that they didn't mess up, they REALLY butchered the other ones. Take Monarch of the Mighty Darkness for example. This was one of the best tracks and clinchers on the original In Times Before the Light album. It really had that mournful, dark, gloomy feel that is prevalent on most of the album. When I heard this song on the remix, I laughed because the thoughts in my head were "What the hell is this!?". The atmosphere and integrity of the original has just been killed off. Way to ruin one of your best songs, Kovenant, and your best album.

Overall, this album was a big mistake. It's not only a slap in the face to big fans of the original In Times Before the Light CD, but also a kick in the teeth to the band members themselves. I must ask again, what were they smoking when they came up with this idea? Do yourselves a favor and buy the original album, and should you ever listen to this remix, just try to forget that you did. Hey, you might like it, if artificial and piss poor sounding instruments are up your alley, or you just have a knack for cheesy sounding electro music based on original metal compositions, so by all means give it a listen. But take that with a grain of salt, because comparing the original to this remix is just all too easy and just stick to the fantastic original, In Times Before the Light.

Quite possibly the worst album I've ever heard - 5%

DoctorPsycho, April 30th, 2006

This album is bad. Not bad in an "oh man these songs are all really lame bad" or an "oh man this lame genre has never been worse" kind of bad, but more of a "what the hell were they thinking?" kind of bad. Rest assured, had I not first heard S.E.T.I. (which is legions better), I would likely have graced over this entire bands discography after hearing this monumental pile of garbage.

On this inconceivable bad album, the Kovenant takes an old album of theirs in which they played straight up black metal, and add keyboards. If you haven't gathered yet, they did a bad job of it. The main problem is not that they don't know how to work their keyboards, far from it, the problem is that these songs were never meant for keyboards. Imagine De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas or In The Nightside Eclipse re-recorded with electronica keyboards on top of the old recording. It just doesn't work.

The production itself is terrible as well. Even by black metal standards. It's not kvlt n3cr0 demo bad (which may have been a better sound for this), it's just lame. The keyboards add no power or feeling to the songs, just more noise to sort through.

So what do we have? A "black" metal album that was possibly once good absolutely ruined by superfluous keyboards and lame production. If you're a fan of the original In Times Before the Light, then for the love of God stick to that one and forget that this one existed. Newcomers to the band should stick with S.E.T.I. This is possibly the worst mistake in all of metal.

Old Covenant meets new The Kovenant = GREAT!!! - 94%

Axonn, April 30th, 2006

Even though the original release of this album is indeed a good one and may be preferred by some, the In Times Before The Light of 2002 is a strong piece of work none-the-less. I prefer it more than the original. I have to agree that I like the 1997 release! But I also have to admit that I find this one to be better. I'm listening to this album as I am writing this. To tell you the truth, I really don’t think that if The Kovenant decided to put the keyboards a bit more to the foreground and reshape the entire instrumental, they can be accused of making the album more in a “techno” music style. This LP is very aggressive, so aggressive that you may have trouble distinguishing the instruments at times (which can be annoying for some). However, the wall of sound created pleases my ears. As for the vocals, they’re more or less similar to the original and I think Nagash really tried hard to stay faithful to the spirit of that release.

And Nagash succeeded. For this album has all the beauty of a transition album. It finds the harshness and brutality of the original while the instrumentals are evolved in a combination between the oldest of Kovenant (back then Covenant) and the newest of Kovenant (at the time of this album that’s Animatronic). I like the guitars… they’re very cold. And they keyboards have an artistic aura upon them, this really lifts the album over the original. It just sounds more melodic.

The use of choirs is really great on “Night Of The Blackwinds” (which is actually one of the best songs on this LP). Other highlights include “The Dark Conquest”, “The Chasm” and “Visions Of A Lost Kingdom” (which has such a great frigging introduction that every time that I play it I have the urge to jump and headbang like a maniac!!! It also has a great melodic line and I truly think this is one of the best Kovenant songs EVER and clearly the best on the album) and “Dragonstorms”.

There are very few bands which make me regret that I don’t have 2 heads with which to headbang, but the first 30 seconds of “Visions Of A Lost Kingdom” really make me regret that! The song also features a nice choir and the keyboard line is great, love it.

All-in-all, this a well worked album. It follows the melodic lines of the original but the instrumental is better, the keyboards are nicer and more melodic and the vocal is in the same style. It’s more or less the same album except improved in the instrumental side.

I urge you, reader, to have an open mind and be prepared for any reaction (disgust or pleasure) when playing this. I try to keep an open mind and I listened to this album at least 40 times before writing this review. I liked a few songs from the first listen and after that, it grew on me song by song. Give it a chance. And again, do try to have an open mind. It helps. And not only in music! This album deserves that chance!

WHY!? - 3%

SnowVixen, June 7th, 2004

A decent black metal band turning techno is bad enough (and seemingly common enough), but do they really have to go back and piss on their best album? I guess in Kovenant's case, they thought it absolutely necessary.

For those unfamiliar with the original version it was pretty standard, though very catchy, black metal. Fast tremolo picked guitars, frantic drumblasts and those old school echoing vocals. You know, standard old school black metal. Perhaps not the best album, but an enjoyable album nonetheless.

Now, take that image and add a dance beat to it. A standard mid-tempo 4/4 dance beat. Now, the old drums are still there... just with these overproduced drums over them. It's very odd sounding, and just sounds... well, wrong. If you're going to redo the drums, take out the old ones. Common sense dictates that. Of possible note, the first track's drumline sounds like the one used in the song "Rock & Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter. Yeah.

Now, as if the skewed drum track didn't screw the album up enough, they opted to add some incredibly fruity keyboards. It's almost like the band sat there and thought to themselves "Hmm... how can I fuck this album up?", the keys are that bad. They're basically your generic "gothic" keyboards used ad nauseum by every band ever signed to Cleopatra records, only somehow far more grating. Again, they're far more cleanly produced than the rest of the album, overpowering the rest of the music.

With the combination of the well-produced drum and synth track and the old school black metal recording, you essentially get a slow techno album with black metal playing in the background. The end product reminds me of a shitty techno version of Cradle of Filth... though at least Cradle of Filth hasn't gone back and shat all over their old recordings for the hell of it.

I'm not sure what this awful creation is supposed to be, but it's more a slap in the face than anything else. I can accept a band releasing bad material, but why take the time to intentionally screw up something released years ago in a genre they're no longer a part of? This album is nothing short of a cheap stab at Nagash's black metal roots that he's trying ever so hard to distance himself from, and an insult to fans of the genre. Fuck you too Kovenant.