Nine Covens – On The Dawning Of The Light


Review by Jason Guest

Candlelight Records

Unidentified, the members of the UK’s Nine Covens remain shrouded in darkness. And so while every band under the sign spends an increasing amount of time on Faecesbook or Twatter vying for attention, Nine Covens are one of those bands whose image – or absence of it if you like – is created out of nothing more than the music. A guarantee of impurity, perhaps, but without the distraction of biography and association, the music comes to the fore. Their début, 2011’s On The Coming Of Darkness, was an impressive work. Tight, focussed, with precise execution in its elaborate arrangements and solid structures, it fulfilled the anti-marketing approach with its all-consuming darkness. The machine gun drums, rapid fire riffs and barked vocals were as deep and dense as mighty slabs of fire that stayed true to the spirit of black metal throughout. With On The Dawning Of The Light, Nine Covens have persisted on their caustic path and produced another album that matches their début in both quality and ire.

Like their début, there are moments where the album dips such as the two shortest tracks, ‘At The Ocean’s Strand’ and ‘To Quench a Raging Flame’, these are the least effective, their impact not as forceful as the longer tracks, particularly the instrumental ‘White Star Acception’. With the atmospherics of depressive black metal underpinning its melodies, this seven-minute mournful and downcast piece is remarkable. Repetitive, hypnotic and darkly seductive, the unsettling ice cold atmosphere of the album is laced with fiery and catchy riffs, deep and disturbing demonic vocals, and pummelling drums. The tracks are, again like their début, towering and majestic, intricately woven, the feel of them somehow exultant in their disquieting depths. And while the enigma of who it is that constitutes this band staunchly remains, it’s the music that remains at the fore, this absence making the music so much more inviting. Within it, the listener may search for the band, but they can only find themselves. Nine Covens are nowhere to be found. What the listener finds is the void, that ferocious futility, that absence of existence where we reside. Meaning is ours and ours alone. That is where the light dawns…

8 out of 10

  • Visit Nine Covens’ website here

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 Flame
  7. White Star Acception
  8. Over The Ocean’s Way
  9. A Burning Ember