THE KOVENANT had a contract with Nuclear Blast between 1999 and 2003. During this time, they released the following albums:
• Animatronic (1999)
• S.E.T.I. Club (2003, EP)
• S.E.T.I. (2003, info | shop)
From the beginning, COVENANT offered something different. Sporting a prestigious line-up that included individual members of Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem and Arcturus, the band immediately found a place in metal's hierarchy. In 1992, when vocalist/bassist Lex Icon (formerly Nagash of Dimmu Borgir) and guitarist Psy Coma (formerly Blackheart) began to mold their initial sound, the two set out in the limited confines of the black metal scene, knowing full well the potential to break outside the confines of the scene was not only possible but the only direction in which COVENANT could logically grow.
After the debut release, In Times Before Light, in 1997, the duo recruited drummer Von Blomberg (AKA Hellhammer from Mayhem), then later Dimmu Borgir guitarist Astennu and Arcturus keyboardist Sverd. The expanded line-up signed with Nuclear Blast and released Nexus Polaris. Cradle of Filth mainstay Sara Jezebel Diva even contributed vocals to the acclaimed disc. Their NB debut made an incredible impact, hitting both the German and Finish charts. The year would end with the band being nominated for a Norwegian Grammy, which they went on to win. Despite the success of the band, changes ensued with Astennu, Sverd and Diva leaving the fold. The shake up did not derail COVENANT.
In April 1999, Icon, Coma and Von Blomberg entered Woodhouse Studios with producer Siggi Bemm (Moonspell, Samael) and emerged three months later with a sophisticated album showcasing a band that had always exceeded the norm regardless of current trends. Dubbed Animatronic, the album presented a new THE KOVENANT (forced to change their name because of a Swedish outfit of the same name), mutating from their stark black metal days to a three-headed cybernetic beast welding their own mixture of electronic, dark and traditional metal styles. The band also won their 2nd Grammy award for Animatronic. A furor of controversy followed over THE KOVENANT's new sound and look, but the band came through the fire unscathed and emerged stronger with a growing fan base and their first U.S. tour (with Amorphis and Moonspell) under their belts.
After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, THE KOVENANT are back with their numbest album yet, SETI. The band continually strives for more atmosphere, more futuristic soundscapes and modern sounds. With SETI, they go one step beyond. The band didn't merely want to repeat the sound of Animatronic. They allowed themselves time way from the band to collect new ideas, energies and musical influences. In true THE KOVENANT fashion, SETI is a crazy mix of styles: hard electronics, hammering guitars and virtually anything else these mad scientists could cook up.
Coma describes it as a collision of styles, a hybrid, a bastard creation. The band once again recorded at Woodhouse Studios with producer Bemm and Dan Diamond, and also brought in help from Zeromancer keyboardist Erik Ljungren, as a sound designer. Lyrically, SETI centers around the band's desire to prove, as they put it, that "There is no God!" A bold statement, but nothing less should be expected from THE KOVENANT. The symbiotic relationship between the music, lyrics and image make SETI an album that can't merely be listened to. It's a cybernetic experience encompassing technology, religion, pop culture and music to create exactly what the band intended: a bastard creation.