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Nine Covens - On the Coming of Darkness Review

by Matt Hensch

"On the Coming of Darkness" features a few anonymous dudes that apparently belong to some of the best and brightest (sorry, darkest) black metal bands around. Hearing the debut of Nine Covens would unfortunately conjure quite the opposite assumption I'm afraid, because the short-running escapade does absolutely nothing to truly portray the sub-genre in any desirable fashion. "On the Coming of Darkness" is sort of a weird album at times as there's a degree of crustiness appearing at select intervals, and a few of their numbers express a minimalist view on black metal beyond the expected burst of Nine Covens' identity. Beyond the handful slices of charm, "On the Coming of Darkness" should've been titled something along the lines of "On the Coming of Really Boring Black Metal That Conceals the Identity of its Contributors to Add an Element of Mystery That is Unfortunately Dispelled After You've Experienced This Mediocre Tripe."

Not a lot happens to be honest. You got the basic tremolo riffs, the basic black metal drumming, the basic lo-fi production that makes the whole thing a tad hazy, and some dude shouting lifelessly into a microphone. What makes Nine Covens so boring is that they practically drip melatonin in their uncanny ability to write tracks which run a bit too long and feature nothing the remaining record hasn't already shown. The individual performances are quite dull, especially the lame shouting/shrieking vocalist, who apparently wanted to appear as monotone as possible and unloads in the same tone and never changes his strategy. Though the song structures dig for gold they gluttonously suck the life out of the album; the transitions monumentally stink and the group's lackadaisical instrumental notions bite like a tick and never stop tapping the vein. They pretty much fail to include anything that would make someone feel mighty or enraptured solely because of Nine Covens' lack of innovation and strength.

Occasionally, although sparsely, there're some acceptable ideas floating around. I'm actually really impressed by the minimalist pounding stemming from a cluster of songs; they really have the essence of atmosphere nailed in the few numbers that include this unobtrusive edge. They also add some crusty influence every lunar eclipse or so that again gives a lot of life to these vegetables, but when it comes to consistency and prose, these dudes sound like your average black metal band playing average black metal at an average pace with average intentions. I don't outright desire this album to burn in the fires of damnation forevermore, but it clearly needs to be slapped up a little. Anyone and anything can successfully replicate the content within "On the Coming of Darkness," and if this is the work of black metal's elite, then these supposed legends clearly need a wake-up call to standards and overall acceptability.

Nine Covens - On the Coming of Darkness


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