Covenant on the Edge of Dawn

Review of Covenant’s performance in London.

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Covenant
02 Academy Islington
17 March 2018

It is reported that a new kind of material has been developed by British researchers, which can absorb 99.5% of visible light. Commercial applications for Vantablack must surely include stage design for Covenant, Sweden’s biggest EBM export.

Spotting singer Eskil Simonsson in the darkened fog is a task for young eyes. While dedicated spots pick out Daniel Jonasson and Daniel Myer at opposite ends of the stage, Simonsson emerges from a shroud of smoke like an eel from a cavern; his figure revealed only by glints of light on his glasses. His lines intoned, Covenant’s front man recedes into the darkness.

Simonsson’s voice is another story. It fills the room, pushing its way through a large and enthusiastic crowd. It draws hands skyward and raises the pulses of the fans in their fishnets and elevator shoes. The pulse of Covenant’s synths is its heartbeat, but Simonsson’s vocals are its soul.

The show opens with “Death of Identity” from the Psychonaut EP, setting an experimental tone. What follows is a tour through Covenant’s back catalogue, drawing in early compositions like ”Edge of Dawn” and ”Shelter” from 1994’s Dreams of a Cryotank.

With decades of material behind them, Covenant are spoiled for choice in the compilation of setlists. Tonight’s touches on a lot of highlights without becoming a Greatest Hits event: from ”Like Tears in Rain” to the closing ”Call the Ships to Port,” fans have the chance to sing along to well-loved songs.

For the encore, Simonsson trades places with Daniel Myer on ”Lightbringer,” the Architect man put his own print on the track. ”Let’s do this!” roars the German, and the energy surges again before Simonsson takes back the lead microphone for ”We Stand Alone.”

By the time the house lights push back the darkness, Covenant have already withdrawn. A river of black files out into N1, the night finally ready to receive it.


Thank you to Frank Drake at Flag Promotions.

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