"Animatronic" (Nuclear Blast)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

As the rare (and perhaps only) example of cosmic metal, Covenant's "Nexus Polaris" (click here to see our review) was a stunning display of fluid keyboards over metallic guitar riffs that skirted melodic black metal territory without falling prey to the subject matter that most black metal bands deal with. However, Covenant has morphed into The Kovenant (legal issues due to a techno band that has the same name forced the band to abandon the Covenant moniker), lost two key band members, and returned with a slightly different style.

I'd heard some rumblings that The Kovenant was Marilyn Manson all over again, but I'm happy to say that this is not the case. "Animatronic" does incorporate some electronica elements and post-industrial stomping, but it isn't like Static-X or Powerman 5000. However, the hooks of "Animatronic" are a bit more mainstream than "Nexus Polaris." This is cosmic metal with the future staring you between the eyes - and it's not a pretty sight.

Lex Icon's familiar vocals are the first reminder of the band's history, yet even the vocal performance here is varied and versatile. Rounding out the band's sound is the contrast of Lex Icon's electronically mistreated vocals with the lush and glassy sheen provided by the female vocals. Keyboards and synths, ever present on "Nexus Polaris," are still quiet evident on "Animatronic", but are more geared to mood setting rather than blazing classically influenced solos. The guitars are rhythmically heavy like a steel press cutting sheet metal. 

"Jihad" and "Prophecies Of Fire" are the tracks to look out for - both are aggressive, melodic, and catchy. Other tracks like "The Human Abstract" and "Mirrors Paradise" are strong, too. The lethal riffage of "The Birth Of Tragedy" hints at the world ending with a bang, not a whimper. I could have done without "Mannequin" and the cover of Babylon Zoo's "Spaceman," but others may find these two tracks interesting. 

"Animatronic" was produced by Siggi Bemm and was recorded at the world-famous Woodhouse Studios. 

The Kovenant are Lex Icon on bass and vocals, Psy Coma on guitars, and Von Blomberg on drums. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Apr 2022 15:56:16 -0400.