Covenant has returned with a new album on a new label. But the new sound seems to be built on old foundations. They even re-use their chord changes; obvious in “Pulse”, the chorus of which sounds like “Dead Stars”. In a way, it's a smart move I guess, since that hit is still played every time I go to a club.

The first single pulled from the album is “Ritual Noise”, also the album opener. To me it doesn’t really shout “I’m a single”, but it’s still one of the better tracks on here. However the edit featured on the single is much better.

“Skyshaper” is a cool title, although I don’t really know what its bearing is on the very uneven album. The aforementioned “Pulse” is a bit too bland and familiar even with its hints of electroclash, and another poppy track, “Happy Man”, is a jaunty, naïve little piece I really don’t know where to put. Luckily then, “Brave New World” is fantastic, with its clever melody, hard beats and overall hit-feeling.

The highs of “Skyshaper” are really highs, and I can go so far as to say that I think “20hz” is one of their best tracks ever. I even like the weird beat. It’s just that the lows are pretty low… “Sweet and Salty” is an instant skip - monotone and uneventful to the extreme and with a bass ever so slightly out of sync. “Spindrift” is a long epic track, but not much happens, except the first appearance of female vocals in a Covenant track, if I’m not mistaken? Just when you think the song is going to take off, it just goes down again, and lumbers on.

Covenant is making more use of Eskil Simonsson’s voice for each new full length, but it seems like he’s close to his limits on “Skyshaper” - and sometimes even beyond. Still one of the best voices in EBM and electro though, so that’s a small complaint.

The bigger worry is that there's only about four tracks I really enjoy on "Skyshaper"; an all time low in my history with Covenant.

The final track “The World Is Growing Loud”, is a beautiful ballad that ends the album with a sort of goodbye. With lyrics like "It's time for us to fade away" and "We knew we wouldn't last this long", who knows if we’ll hear from them again? Please boys, don’t go away! We need a band that tries new ground and takes the quality a few notches higher than the rest.


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