Nine Covens: On The Dawning Of Light

Mysterious black metal collective make a swift return

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Debuting last year with the similarly titled On The Coming Of Darkness, Nine Covens presented themselves as an anonymous collective of extreme metal veterans working together on a new black metal project.

Despite the promise such a description held, the results were neither groundbreaking nor particularly noteworthy. Indeed, many complained that the album came across as a rather diluted Winterfylleth, an interesting suggestion given that one of the hooded faces in the murky band shot bore resemblances to that band’s frontman Chris Naughton.

Coincidence or not, the swift follow-up is undeniably a step up from its predecessor, the songwriting remaining relatively linear but proving much more memorable and engaging. A contemporary-leaning second-wave black metal sound is still the name of the game, but the raw Taake-like attitude of Origin Of Light, the emotive pull of As Fire Consumes and the Burzum-esque crawl of Mist Of Death means there are enough dynamics to keep this interesting. Meanwhile, the similarities to Winterfylleth are still present but rather more complimentary this time round.