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Kovenant, The: Nexus Polaris (remaster)

Originally released in 1998 on Nuclear Blast Records and now reissued & remastered by Metal Mind Productions, Nexus Polaris is the sophomore release from Norwegian act The Kovenant. Starting out as a symphonic black metal band, then slowly morphing into a more industrial metal hybrid, The Kovenant still held on to their black metal roots for this release, employing heaping amounts of keyboards with jagged guitar riffs, speedy rhythms, and harsh vocals. For this album, the line-up consisted of Nagash (ex-Dimmu Borgir, Troll, and Chrome Division) on bass & vocals, guitarist Blackheart (Troll), drummer Hellhammer (Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir, Arcturus), guitarist Astennu (ex-Dimmu Borgir, Carpe Tenebrum), keyboard player Sverd (Arcturus, Satyricon, Emperor), and female vocalist Sarah Jezebel Deva (Cradle of Filth). As you can see, this act was somewhat of a black metal supergroup, with members who at some point in time played with many of the top acts of the genre.

From the opening riffs, blast beats, and synth orchestrations of "Sulphur Feast", it's pretty clear that Nexus Polaris is an album whose roadmap was paved by the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, two black metal acts who took the raw & primal sounds of the early Scandinavian scene, and added melody, progressive & symphonic elements to the mix. Nagash's vocals on "Bizare Cosmix Industries" sound a lot like Immortal's Abbath, though there's more of a reliance on keyboards than guitar thunder with this band. It's not until "Planetarium" that you really hear Hellhammer go full force, as on this one he's blasting away like a man possessed. One of the highlights here is the complex "Dragonheart", a wild mix of black metal, power metal, and progressive metal, complete with intricate guitar riffs, loads of keyboards, and some stunning backing vocals from Sarah. For a different spin on things, the cruncher "Chariots of Thunder" is a more straightforward slice of extreme metal, Nagash's vile vocals play off some super heavy riffs in one of the catchiest tunes on the CD.

Featuring some cool artwork, photos, lyrics, and an essay on the band, Metal Mind's digipack reissue is a very attractive looking package. Included on the CD are 2 remixes of the song "New World Order" from their Animatronic release, which signaled their arrival of their industrial style. Kind of a strange choice of a bonus track here, seeing as Nexis Polaris is pretty much a black metal album, but if nothing else it will give you a taste of how The Kovenant changed after the release of this one.

Track Listing
1. Sulphur Feast
2. Bizarre Cosmic Industries
3. Planetarium
4. Last of Dragons
5. Bringer of the Sixth Sun
6. Dragonheart
7. Planetary Black Elements
8. Chariots of Thunder
9. New World Order-club mix
10. New World Order-metal mix

Added: December 13th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 2375
Language: english

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