Released by Synthetic Symphony/SPV on January 14, the long-awaited album from COVENANT, “Modern Ruin” is the band’s ninth and probably the one which took the longest in the making. Five years after full-length “Skyshaper” and the live “In Transit”, COVENANT’s comeback is a fulgurating statement of their power of enthrallment on the scene. Hailed three months ago by the well-received single “Lightbringer” (feat. Necro Facility), the album, its deluxe release and the first single stay atop of sales charts and generate an incredible buzz.
Proof to the album’s success stands the album’s core of 11 tracks, forced into shape by the band’s trio: ESKIL SIMONSSON, DANIEL MYER, and JOAKIM MONTELIUS. What “Modern Ruin” does in effect, is similar to fusion cuisine: adding a pinch of darkwave to a broth of electro and future pop. It starts with an engaging intro, homonymous with the album title, and sets an alarming tone to what ensues. And it’s no wonder, since “Lightbringer” (feat. Necro Facility) stirs up next. It is a majestic, athletic track – with a lengthy and elaborate structure that not incidentally, we suppose, proposes a thematic cleansing: from shedding skin to burning down as a sacrifice, the listener is passed through a cleansing curtain that ensures their initiatory novitiate into the album.
“Judge of My Domain” is an enthralling track of well-directed ignitions and with great dynamics. Just as the ensuing “Dynamo Clock”, that sets off a series of explosions in a musical minefield. Its compelling sound, really sustained and with vocals that keep it cool, “Dynamo Clock” becomes an axis for the album, tilting it until the feeling kicks in like a genuine painkiller. “Kairos”, a short tribute to serenity and momentousness, inspired by the ancient Greek philosophical term that relates to opportune moments as opposed to general time.
“The Beauty and the Grace” continues the philosophical pondering with a melancholic, yet at the same time optimistic anthem. A suggestive track, disrupting and setting a cadence, it creates a very subtle crevice in the album. “Get On” is motivational, it talks about survival in a cosmogony of new worlds disappearing and forming, just to leave enough room to “Worlds Collide”, a volcanic song of unusual intensity. “The Night” is an atmospheric track for the club scene, which keeps some mysteries intact, just like the night. “Beat the Noise” is generous, Olympic, and complex: it is an unrestrained gush of sound that follows a very danceable pattern.
The last track of the album, “The Road”, thus entitled in tribute to the movie rendition of Cormac McCarthy’s homonymous novel, is an inspiring, electric and very well concerted track. The feeling of devastation of taking an almost eternal walk through a world that ceased to exist in search of physical and emotional warmth is rendered in COVENANT’s track as a sumptuous distant call asunder from a realm that deserted pure emotion and belonging.
The deluxe release of “Modern Ruin” also includes a 5-fold remix of “Wir Sind Die Nacht” plus samples from “Ich War Nichts” and “Wunder”.
“Modern Ruin” is a fine example of a well designed album, with great musical color and intriguing insights, both poetical and instrumental. A virtuoso example of what today’s electronica is heading into, “Modern Ruin” sets a trend that we would like to see reduplicated in numerous musical acts to come. Songs from the album, in the making at the time, were performed by COVENANT in their Bucharest concert on April 8, 2010, organized by VIVA MUSIC.