Covenant – Leaving Babylon
Released: September 10th, 2013
Label: Metropolis Records
Covenant is one of those bands that have been around for quite a while. Forming in the late ’80s, landing their first record deal around the mid ’90s, they have become a fairly known player in the EBM music space. And yet, somehow over all these years Covenant has never really been on my musical radar. In keeping up with the honesty we try to maintain around here I will admit that Leaving Babylon is the first full Covenant album I have listened to… and it’s a good one.
Since I don’t have much familiarity with previous Covenant albums, you’re not going to find any in-depth comparisons to older works in this review. I’m not qualified to do so. I like Leaving Babylon enough, however, that it has made me to start seeking out Covenant’s older works. My lack of history with the band probably isn’t too much of a big deal anyway because with Leaving Babylon (according to the press release), Covenant has taken their music in a slightly different direction.
Leaving Babylon is a solid EBM album that I would describe as an almost Goth-EBM style of sound. Think Sisters of Mercy meets VNV Nation. Much of the vocals on the album are deep and brooding mixed with clean, heavy and rhythmic electronic beats. Pacing and tempo fluctuate among the various tracks. Tracks like the “Leaving Babylon” and “Thy Kingdom Come” keep things at a sluggish tempo with electronic noise and rhythms mixed with deep, broody vocals. “I Walk Slow” has a similar treatment, combining talking vocals and stabs of sluggish, electronically distorted guitars and nothing else. “Last Dance” and “Prime Movers” speed things up more into EBM territory with fast beats, synth backgrounds and slightly more upbeat vocals.
The stand out track for me on Leaving Babylon is the track “For Our Time”. With it’s combination of synth backgrounds and sweeping electronic sounds mixed with steady, mid-tempo beats and clean vocals it makes for a killer track. “Auto-Circulation” is also another great track falling into a more techno feel, sounding more similar to Front 242 and older Covenant yet with a lot of the style found on Leaving Babylon.
As I stated before, I can’t comment honestly on how Leaving Babylon holds up to other Covenant albums. I can confidently say however, if you are an EBM fan check out Leaving Babylon. You won’t be disappointed.
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