"The Blinding Dark" is definitely not Covenant's most easily accessible album. It does not contain as many hits as classics like "Northern Light" or "United States Of Mind", and it is surely less pleasant than Covenant's most striking earworms "Dead Stars" and "Happy Man". Still, "The Blinding Dark" is exciting not only because of its telling title, but also since it shows a remarkable development in style, something that Covenant decidedly wanted with this record - and not least thanks to the subject matter they address. Of course, dancefloors will still shake during "Sound Mirrors", "Immortal" or "I Close My Eyes", yet the albums focuses rather suppressed tracks of subtle darkness such as the Kraftwerk- and Jarré-inspired "Dies Irae" and the Lee Hazelwood (!) cover "Rider On A Wild Horse", a 1977 country anthem that has been turned into a sombre, sluggish electro requiem with heavy acoustic drums.
The advance single "Sound Mirrors" already insinuated that Covenant are delving more deeply into their subject matter than on previous albums:
Said sound mirrors were anti-aircraft installations made of stone along the British coast during World War I, serving as a parable on panic and refusal of the tide of refugees that is manifest in Europe, including Covenant's home country Sweden: "Listen to the waves of broken souls, homing in on hostile shores; listen to the sound of burning homes, crashing down on shattered ground." However, these prophetic lines are only the first chapter of this album, which is wholly dedicated to confronting the dark side of the individual self.
Eventually "The Blinding Dark" offers a lot to discover, not least probably because long-standing Covenant member Joakim Montelius has once again taken more responsibility in the studio than on their previous works and due to the fact that Daniel Myer (haujobb, Architect) has returned as a permanent fixture in the group's live line-up.
Thus, "The Blinding Dark" may hark back to one of Covenant's less "hit-heavy" records that turned out to have more depth and longevity just because of its raw character. It is their second full-length "Sequencer" that could have been the blueprint for the mood on "The Blinding Dark" with slower numbers such as "Tabula Rasa" or "Flux". And there could be worse references, right?
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