The Kovenant (1993-present): a Black Metal band from Hamar, Norway.
t all begun in 1993 under the name Covenant, when vocalist Lex Icon (a.k.a. Nagash) and FX Psy Coma (guitars/programming; a.k.a. Blackheart) started to put together low budget demos, which resulted in their first album In Times Before The Light (1995). The music was atmospheric black metal with melody. They got the reputation of being the most prominent act in the Norwegian Metal scene. Unfortunately, at the time their record label did not agree with that assessment. The album was not officially released until early 1997 on the small English record company, 'Mordgrimm'.
Nexus Polaris (1998), on the 'Nuclear Blast' label was the next album. The album was filled with progressive dark pulsing atmospheric metal they once dubbed "Progressive Space Metal". They followed it up with a two week promotion tour, where they found themselves one of the biggest bands in the extreme metal scene. They also appeared on Norwegian national TV with their six-episode tour documentary.
Lex and Psy had greater visions for their music and after engaging in a mass firing of members Sverd (keyboards), Astennu (guitar), and Sarah (vocals) for "various reasons", Nagash, Blackheart and Hellhammer changed their stage names to suit their new direction: Nagash became "Lex Icon", Blackheart became "Psy Coma", and Hellhammer became "Von Blomberg". They then hired a keyboard player for sessions.
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Soon after, Nagash left Dimmu Borgir to concentrate on Covenant full time. During their work on the next album they found themselves winning a Grammy in Norway, for the best hard rock album of the year. Their success, however, got the attention of a Swedish electronic/synthesizer band also called "Covenant", so to avoid anymore legal issues they where forced to change the spelling of the name to the present The Kovenant. With the new "name" and new musical direction, they parted with Astennu, who wanted to concentrate on Dimmu Borgir at that time and fired Sara Jezebel Deva. Since change was in the wind, they decided to go all the way. So after changing their name they created a new logo and then went on to change their own names too, to; Lex Icon (Nagash), Psy Coma (Blackheart), and Von Blomberg (Hellhammer).
"Prophecies of Fire" was the working title of the new album, but was in October of 1999 when it was released as Animatronic. Their old black metal influences would still play a part in their evolving industrial styling seen on this album. A new guitarist, Angel, joined the band bef ore the US tour 2000. During May 2000 they completed their first US tour successfully, and with the new member, they headed for the European market with festivals and a tour in October with success.
While preparing for the next full-length album, Lex and Psy decided to give their first release a second chance. They did a total make-over of the album, with new drum sounds, new synthesizers and programming and new effects. That old classic black metal album would be retrofitted with the new more electronic Kovenant successfully and was eventually released in 2007.
In April 2003 the band released S.E.T.I. (working title "Cybertrash") the long awaited full-length album to follow up the success with Animatronic. They continued with the more electronic sound and 'cybergoth' look, but the album had a darker atmosphere than the previous. By the release of S.E.T.I. Von Blomberg left the band due to lack of time due to his involvement with many other projects leaving just Lex Icon and FX Psy Coma again. Two new members had been recruited in the form of Küth (ex-Ram-Zet) on drums and Brat (ex-Apoptygma Berzerk) on keyboards. They then toured Europe and the United States to promote the album. The full-length release was preceded by a promotional EP SETI Club in 2003.
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