Of all the countless albums I have heard this year, yet this work of Benevolent from Dubai is impressing me a lot, and a couple of songs have already found their place in my playlist. The music on The Covenant is nothing short of brilliant, and done with super tightness on the sound. Throughout the album what you get is a feeling of an extra ordinary sense of song writing.
Now, I have noticed it with many progressive melodic – death bands, that they occasionally tend to over complicate their riffs, in an attempt to sound more complex, and fail miserably. What these guys have done is, while attempting to do just that, haven’t drifted away from their core sound, thus maintaining a level of sanity in their music throughout the album.
The album starts off with the haunting intro “Void”, already showcasing a good amount of Hadi’s clean vocals, which is as good as clean vocals can get in your melodic death metal. Kicking into the first track of the album “Asphyxia”, which begins with heavy guitars and pounding drums. Right from “Asphyxia”, they had me headbanging to them in my chair. “Asphyxia” is a perfect example of the direction of the album, with its brilliant sense of melody and distortion. Not to mention, the great juxtaposition of heavy death metal vocals -not the lame screeching your balls off – of Fadi, with the beautiful low pitched clean vocals of Hadi.
This album is not your daily dosage of Death Metal. What these guys offer is something way different from your usual guttural death metal. Combining elements from various sub genres, giving you a perfect matrimony of heavy and melody. The songs have been written almost to a perfect level, with distorted riffs and clean picking done by Hadi and Mohammed complementing the strong drumming patterns throughout the album. There are very few bands today, apart from the likes of Opeth who can write a 9 minute song, and get your attention for each and every second of the song, and for me, “Illusion” does that, and is my personal preference of the best song on the album.
Speaking about the technical work done on the album, the album has been recorded at Haven Studios in Dubai, produced and mixed by the vocalist / guitarist himself, Hadi. The drumming on the album is done by Andols Herrick of the Chimaira fame.
This album definitely grabs your attention on a whole, and just might be the best stuff out there currently in the Middle – East. Instead of spending your money on the next Asking Alexandria or Black Veil Brides non sense, rather get this album and experience the real deal of Metal.