Oh folks, somehow I love this album. 1997 THE KOVENANT-boss "Black Heart" entered the studio with some well-known musicians to record a brilliant album. Besides him (guitars) we have further Black Metal-heroes like Nagash (ex-DIMMU BORGIR, bass and vocals) and Hellhammer (MAYHEM, drums). Add to that the then yet unknown guitarist Astennu (an Australian, by the way), Sverd (synths) and here and there also Sarah Jezebel (among others CRADLE OF FILTH). Musically the band covers a very wide and interesting spectrum. You could roughly call them a mix of Black and Death Metal, in which the band implements countless other elements. Especially the synths play a big part in that.
When listening to the album for the first time, you might be a little overtaxed. It all sounds a little confusing during the first listens, but with each repeated listen you will find new, wonderful melodies and facets. The first song "The Sulphur Feast" is driven by brutal double-bass and sounds a little disorganised, which changes after a few rotations. Song number two "Bizarre Cosmic Industries" then is the first killer. The piece is borne by a cool melody, which is drilling its way right into your brain. In the middle-part the heavy riffs are loosened up by surprising piano-passages, beautiful! In contrast to this stand the harsh and sick vocals of shouter Nagash. He screams and croaks through all pitches. But this doesn't sound disturbing, but forms a breath-taking contrast to the beautiful harmonies and the female interludes by Sarah Jezebel. Harmony meets disharmony. A dimension of sounds and tones, just crass!
The next songs "Planetarium" and "The Last Of Dragons" are more complex again, but just as weird and brilliant. They ooze of a spacy atmosphere, taking you into a different dimension. Just close your eyes and listen (and no, I do not take any drugs). "Bringer Of The Sixth Sun" and "Dragonheart" are less complex, but both songs have a lot of great melodies, tempo-changes, breaks and a indescribable atmosphere. Weird vocals, heavy riffs, synth-sounds and an ultra-precise drumming form an insurmountable union. You cannot even really describe them, but you have to hear them. The last of the eight songs, "Planetary Black Elements" and "Chariots Of Thunder", then put the crown on top of everything, here the band transfers insanity to perfection. I cannot and do not want to say any more about them.
The whole album is just incredible. I do not know, if it is revolutionary, but I don't know anything comparable. The album just takes the best of each musician and their main bands. Big pluses are the innovation and variety within the music. Despite relentless heaviness you always find enchanting melodies and spacy sounds, which unfold ever more with each listen. "Nexus Polaris" is sick and brilliant at the same time. I recommend this album to everybody, who is open for something new and doesn't blindly follow one single direction. For me this piece of music is one of the best and most innovative albums of the past years and is high up in my personal Top 20. Unfortunately COVENANT had to rename themselves to THE KOVENANT in 2000 and re-sized to a trio. The "new" album "Animatronik" then had been too electronic for my taste and not as original anymore. Well, no matter what the band might become, "Nexus Polaris" is a great album with a great sound, which I still like in many years. Not for everyone, but check it out.
Check-out-tips: "Planetary Black Elements", "Chariots Of Thunder"...