The Kovenant

The Kovenant
STYLE: , ORIGIN: NorwayFORMED: 1992LABEL: Independent
  • MEMBERS:
  • Lex Icon-Vocals, Keyboards, Bass
  • Psy Coma-Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
BIOGRAPHY

The Kovenant is a Norwegian black metal band from Hamar. The band originally formed as Covenant in 1993, but in 1999, were forced to change their name to The Kovenant due to a dispute with a Swedish electronic band of the same name.

The band was formed as Covenant in 1993 by two black metal artists known as Nagash and Blackheart. They both met when Blackheart decided to help Nagash with his one-man project Troll. No one seemed to pay attention to them after releasing a demo titled From the Storm of Shadows, but finally a record label, Mordgrimm, took notice of them and released their first album In Times Before the Light in 1997. This album was recorded two years prior in 1995 and established them a fan base in Norway. It sounds similar to Dimmu Borgir’s first opus For All Tid. 

Covenant signed with Nuclear Blast, a major German label dedicated to the hard rock scene, in 1998 and recruited four other members to form an actual band. These people were Astennu (of Dimmu BorgirCarpe Tenebrum), Sverd (of Arcturus), Sarah Jezebel Deva (of Cradle of Filth and others), and Hellhammer (of Mayhem and others). With these new recruits, they released their second album, Nexus Polaris, which was hugely successful (mainly thanks to Nuclear Blast’s promotions) and is largely considered their best album to date by fans. The album also resulted in the band getting a Norwegian Grammy for Best Hard Rock Band and led to Nagash leaving Dimmu Borgir (for which he played bass) in order to concentrate fully on The Kovenant.

After the release of Nexus Polaris, Sverd, Astennu, and Sarah were fired for what Nagash has said to be “various reasons” in several interviews. Only Nagash, Blackheart, and Hellhammer remained. The band then found themselves being sued by a Swedish band of the same name. The Swedish band argued that they owned the name “Covenant” as they had been known as Covenant before Nagash and Blackheart formed their band. Consequently, they were forced to change their name to The Covenant. Unfortunately, simply adding “The” in front of the name would not suffice, because a Dutch heavy metal band had been named The Covenant since 1988. So they added “The” and also replaced the “C” with a “K” to avoid any future confusions, leading to their permanent name “The Kovenant“.

In 1999, The Kovenant recorded and released Animatronic, which portrayed a stylistic change to a more industrial sound. Soon the band changed their individual stage names to suit their new direction: Nagash became “Lex Icon”, Blackheart became “Psy Coma”, and Hellhammer became “Von Blomberg”. The new album also afforded them another Norwegian Grammy and they gained a new member, Angel, while touring the USA. Although the new sound was frowned upon by some more traditional black metal listeners, the music also inspired other bands such as Black Nocturnal Darkness on their 2002 Xenobite-album.

After the Animatronic tour, Lex and Psy took a break and decided to re-record In Times Before the Light. But Nuclear Blast wanted nothing to do with the album, so they changed labels and released it through Hammerheart Records. A re-release of Nexus Polaris took place as well during 2002.

In 2002, the band found themselves back in the studio, recording SETI, their fourth album. The full-length release was preceded by a promotional EP SETI Club, and both were issued in 2003. Von Blomberg decided to do more touring and left the band to handle other projects. Two new members were recruited: Küth (of Ram-Zet) on drums and Brat (of Apoptygma Berzerk) on keyboards. They then toured Europe and the United States to promote the album.

Currently, the band is working on a DVD and a new album titled Aria Galactica. Lex Icon announced recently that they have 14 pieces written so far. The album will come with a second disc consisting entirely of symphonic renditions of the tracks from the primary disc, which suggests a return to the more symphonic style exhibited by the band on their 1998 album Nexus Polaris.

 

VIDEOS
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DISCOGRAPHY

S.E.T.I. / 2003

The Kovenant-S.E.T.I.
  • Album Info
  • 2003
  • Nuclear Blast

1. Cybertrash
2. Planet of the Apes
3. Star by Star
4. Via Negativa
5. Stillborn Universe
6. Acid Theater
7. The Perfect End
8. Neon
9. Keepers of the Garden
10. Pantomime
11. Hollow Earth
12. Industrial Twilight
13. Subtopia
14. The Memory Remains (Metallica cover)

SETI is the fourth studio album by the Norwegian industrial metal band, The Kovenant, and was released in 2003 through Nuclear Blast.

With their second Norwegian Grammy, The Kovenant toured Europe and the United States to promote the album. While in the United States, the band found a new member, Angel, who would play guitars with Psy Coma; he is not of the black metal scene, but is influenced by bands such as Whitesnake.

Deciding to take a break from recording music, the band went their separate ways after they returned to Europe. During 2002, a remastered version of In Times Before the Light and a re-release of Nexus Polaris took place. By November 2002, the band decided to record a fourth album.

In 2003 the new album SETI was released and the band decided to do more touring than last time. However this conflicted with Von Blomberg’s other projects (e.g. Mayhem) and it was decided that he would leave the band.

Prior to the release of the actual album, Nuclear Blast issued an EP, SETI Club, consisting of two songs and “club versions” of another two songs from SETI.

Soon two other members were recruited, Küth (of Ram-Zet) on drums and Brat (of Apoptygma Berzerk) on keyboards. With these new members, The Kovenant again toured Europe and the USA.

In Times Before the Light / 2002

The Kovenant-In Times Before the Light
  • Album Info
  • 2002
  • Hammerheart Records

1. Towards the Crown of Nights
2. Dragonstorms
3. The Dark Conquest
4. From the Storm of Shadows
5. Night of the Blackwinds
6. The Chasm
7. Visions of a Lost Kingdom
8. Through the Eyes of the Raven
9. In Times Before the Light
10. Monarch of the Mighty Darkness

A re-released version of their 1997 debut, featuring tracks redone with an industrial sound following their change from Covenant to The Kovenant. 

Released in 2002 on Hammerheart Records, Nagash and Blackheart, now Lex Icon and Psy-Coma, were not satisfied with the original recording, and decided to release In The Times Before The Light once again. The outcome is significantly different from the original; an industrial version of the original symphonic black metal album. The remixed tracks are longer, various elements were added to them and many parts were re-recorded.

Animatronic / 1999

The Kovenant-Animatronic
  • Album Info
  • 1999
  • Nuclear Blast

1. Mirrors Paradise
2. New World Order
3. Mannequin
4. Sindrom
5. Jihad
6. The Human Abstract
7. Prophecies of Fire
8. In the Name of the Future
9. Spaceman (Babylon Zoo cover)
10. The Birth of Tragedy

Animatronic is the third studio album by the Norwegian industrial metal band, The Kovenant, and was released in 1999 through Nuclear Blast.

Their third album, and their first under their new name, The Kovenant. Prior to the release of Animatronic, Covenant were forced to change their name due to a naming dispute with a Swedish EDM band of the same name. Animatronic would also be the first album in their departure from black metal, and into a more industrial sound. 

Nexus Polaris / 1998

The Kovenant-Nexus Polaris
  • Album Info
  • 1998
  • Nuclear Blast

1. The Sulphur Feast
2. Bizarre Cosmic Industries
3. Planetarium
4. The Last of Dragons
5. Bringer of the Sixth Sun
6. Dragonheart
7. Planetary Black Elements
8. Chariots of Thunder

Nexus Polaris is the second studio album by the Norwegian black metal band, The Kovenant, and was released in 1998 through Nuclear Blast.

The original album, In Times Before the Light was successful at staging a fan base in the black metal scene in Norway. Nagash and Blackheart had greater ambitions for the band and wanted better production and pay for their music. Label Nuclear Blast caught eye of the band and Covenant (as the band was known at that time) signed with them.

Starting the new album, Nagash and Blackheart wanted to form an actual band this time. They enlisted guitarist, Astennu (who was playing in Dimmu Borgir at the time with Nagash), keyboardist Sverd (of Arcturus), Sarah Jezebel Deva (of Cradle of Filth and other bands), and Hellhammer (of Mayhem). Nagash took over bass and vocal duties while Blackheart took guitar.

Nexus Polaris was hugely successful (due to Nuclear Blast’s promotion) and allowed Covenant to do a two-week tour and was on national Norwegian television for six days. This was also a sign showing Covenant moving from black metal to a more industrial metal sound. Soon Covenant found themselves nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. They attended and won for Best Hard Rock band, the first ever.

A re-release of Nexus Polaris was made in 2002. The original tracks were left untouched (unlike the remixed edition of In Times Before the Light, also from 2002), but two versions of “New World Order”, a song from their 1999 album Animatronic, were included as a bonus.

In Times Before the Light / 1997

The Kovenant-In Times Before the Light
  • Album Info
  • 1997
  • Mordgrimm

1. Towards the Crown of Nights
2. Dragonstorms
3. The Dark Conquest
4. From the Storm of Shadows
5. Night of the Blackwinds
6. The Chasm
7. Visions of a Lost Kingdom
8. Through the Eyes of the Raven
9. In Times Before the Light
10. Monarch of the Mighty Darkness

In Times Before the Light is the debut studio album by the Norwegian black metal band The Kovenant, released in 1997 through Mordgrimm.

In Times Before the Light is the first album by The Kovenant (at that time called Covenant), recorded in 1995. The only members at the time were Nagash and Blackheart. The album is considered to be symphonic black metal and provided Covenant a good fan base in Norway. The album was created when Nagash and Blackheart were about 17 years of age. The release was significantly delayed due to loss of album artwork in shipment to the record company.

A re-recorded version of In Times Before the Light was released in 2002 through Hammerheart Records due to Nagash and Blackheart (now ‘Lex Icon’ and ‘Psy Coma’) citing that they were not satisfied with the original release. Covenant were also forced to change their name to The Kovenant due to a dispute with a Swedish electronic band of the same name. The outcome is significantly different from the original; an industrial version of the original symphonic black metal album. The remixed tracks are longer, various elements were added to them and many parts were re-recorded.

The album was re-released in January 26, 2007 through VME/Head Not Found as In Times Before the Light 1995, with tracks from their 1994 demo From the Storm of Shadows as bonus content. The material was remastered by Tom Kvalsvoll at Strype Audio.

On October 29, 2011, Nagash did a one-time only performance of the entire album at the Aurora Infernalis III festival in Arnhem, Netherlands. Except for Nagash, no other members of the current incarnation of the band participated.

On October 11, 2016, Aurora Infernalis announced that an LP of the original album would be released. Since the album was never released as an LP the record label decided that “in January 2017 it will be out on 180gr gatefold LP with a 12-page full color booklet. It is limited to 666 copies (466 black, 200 splatter) and comes with the original artwork that was lost back in the day. Kutargic made the artwork in 1995, but it was never used on the different CD versions.” This LP will contain an original artwork. 

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