Covenant Records is proud to debut the digital release of Saturn’s Cross EP Possession (CVNNT007). Written and recorded across the winter and spring of this year, the EP represents an enormous step-up in songwriting and production quality from the Vancouver-based musician.
As was the case with 2018’s This Is Going To End In Blood (also available digitally through Covenant Records), all visuals were produced by visionary photographer and film-maker artist Max Montesi, and an intense master was given to the songs by infamous Toronto-based producer and musician Camp.30.
Possession is not easy to penetrate. It takes an honest, galvanizing look at our inescapable flaws and faults in enormous wrong-doing. Drawing as much from a retro 80’s sound as a modern R&B sound, and combining it with intense industrial and ambient elements, Possession is sure to sound unlike anything else you’ll hear this year.
Revealing great personal artwork cracks oneself open like an alchemical egg. An incubation of creative magick flows forth like a golden yolk, touching those with eyes to see and ears to hear. This bearing of the soul not only transforms the self inexorably, but also presents the raw power to transform others.
And, it is nothing short of transmutation that we find on the 13 tracks comprising Illuminate, the inaugural release from Paulus. The shadowy figure known for works of pure malice and mystical madness (Rites of thy Degringolade, Amphisbaena, Warmarch, ex-Weapon) has torn himself asunder to release an inner light of ascendance. Completely recorded and performed individually, just accept that you are simply unprepared for the potency that awaits on this conduit of spirit! Please, willingly fly too close to this sun and burn up in its holy fire.
Paulus’s personal songbook falls somewhere at the crossroads of ecclesiastical neofolk, raucous chantey, bombastic ode, and operatic hymnal – all with a sensibility never heard in this kind of music before. Any semblance of loaded tradition or style is razed in favour of a completely personal, singular approach. Of course, there is a darkness that weaves its way through the layers of unbridled triumph, touching sentimentality, and joyous defiance more prominently on display. As the shadow side can never be silenced, it is heard loud and clear throughout the entirety of Illuminate.
Above all it is the voice that commands centre attention in this perplexing procession. At times it dramatically and audaciously orates, blasting bewildering operatic lines and declarations; and, at other times, it expresses a depth of inner honesty so rarely heard, especially from a voice so literally rarely heard on recording until now. Each annunciation carries a visceral potency that drives its message directly into the heart like a blade of will.
Paulus’s music will undoubtedly appeal to fans of Death in June, Current 93, and Cult of Youth, but there is a deeper dimension here that simply has never been breached until now. It is a singular sound as such that sets the soul ablaze and immolates doubt and stagnancy. Forget all you know and set thyself free, for the time to act is NOW!
Available now digitally through Covenant Records on all streaming sites and through the Paulus bandcamp page.
It is at this interstice that Covenant is proud to release the long awaited first volume of the music of Aos Sí. Concisely titled Volume I, the band has meticulously honed and shaped this release over the last two years.
Featuring music firmly routed in the realms of mythology, dream, and the fantastic, Volume I is an album that explores the worlds that lie beyond the senses, conjuring images of hosts of phantoms, sprawling landscapes, old spells, and other dimensions.
In these 6 songs, totaling 24 minutes, the band takes you on a journey that is filled all at once with whimsical highs, ensnaring lows, and ultimately the triumph of the Hero’s Journey -in which both the adept and the listener are transported in mythic process.
Sayeth vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Culain of the album:
Scrying the roots of our collective Ancestors, Aos Sí’s journey begins in Volume One (V.I) with the experimental weaving of estranged myths, dreams, psychedelic rituals, and our alchemical reality, all flown by and through gripping folk instrumentation and otherworldly voices, to encapsulate an experience of self discovery in the face of the wholly other.
The artistic direction of the album was handled by none other than Mexican legend Arturo Albarran of the Cold Poison Design institute. On top of carefully crafting a brilliant and evocative cover for the record, so too has he pieced together a visually stunning music video for the song ‘Oratio Draconis’.
While the band handled all the recording and mixing of the record themselves, mastering was taken care of by X.T. of Studio Tehom in Montreal, providing a robust, rich, and immersive finish to the songs.
The band will be making their first ever live performance in a collaborative effort with Night Profound at Covenant Festival V in Vancouver.
Aos Sí Volume I is out now digitally on Covenant Records on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, and of course available on the band’s BandCamp page.
If you can get a breath of air long enough during the impenetrably suffocating atmosphere created by Vancouver BC’s TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT to say the name of their brand new demo then count yourself lucky. The periphrasal title “Chasm of the Horned Pantheon: Through Your Death, They Live” already sets the stage for such horrifying and depraved imagery before even a note of music is heard. A journey of ferocity and fear is about to begin …
Initially the menacing cruelty attacks from every angle as we are met with bursts of death metal fury. This is no slow plod to the gallows. This is no painful wade through a roiling bog. Those will come later – There is plenty of time for agony after you’ve been pounded into dust. Only after a relentless knife-slashing of dual solo frenzy are we afforded some solace of suicidal serenity. Wails of pure sorrow and despair greet the unfortunate listener as the next formless void of “Crypt Born (Tenebris Devorantis part II)” opens at the song’s mid point. Finally we’re left with only a twitching, plinking guitar perceptible in the distance to match the fragility of the mortal coil. This is real suffering put to audio and it is almost unbearable … until the merciless execution returns to snap your neck with riffs summoned from the death doom mire.
And that’s where the death-march descent into the abyss of the “Black Ibex” begins. A chanting ritual to summon the pitch crepuscularities that linger beyond our perceptions. Don’t be fooled. This is not tranquility, but a moment to inhale and give in to the crushing melancholy of self-destructive leads, wretched torturing reflection, and ultimate submission to the void. At last, the ritual is complete and there is blood everywhere …
There is death doom and there is funeral doom, but rarely has such a perfect unholy union of sound been conjured into existence as it has on this so-called demo tape. Temple of Abandonment has superseded most peers in relentless execution and atmospheric immersion. Featuring stalwarts of extreme music from such forces as CHAPEL, NECROHOLOCAUST, DEATH WINDS, and AHNA, there is a multi-layered texture to the music that evokes truly unexpected twists and turns throughout. A maturity achieved by most bands deep into their career is on display here, and ostensibly this is just the beginning. Tread lightly, as this tape should come with a warning label ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’…
COVENANT RECORDS is honoured to release TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT’s “Chasm of the Horned Pantheon: Through Your Death, They Live” CVNNT-002 into the wild, as our inaugural first release. Interested parties are urged to contact email@example.com for wholesale access to this hideous juggernaut of a tape.
Recorded by B. Decorby Mixed by Kris Stanley Artwork by Anne O’Neill