by DJ Carrion
Skyshaper has been highly anticipated as the successor to 2003’s Northern Light. While not produced by Rammstein producer Jacob Hellner, it shows a return to the roots of their older sound. Rumor has it they spent several months confined in the studio, forgoing any distractions.
Like a finely-tuned machine being turned on, the opening samples reflect the start of “Ritual Noise.” Eskil Simmonson’s haunting vocals carry into the start of the beat, and another well-refined dance floor track is created by the Swedish masters of synthpop. With established hits like “Dead Stars,” “Bullet,” and “Stalker,” they add yet another to this list with the infectious rhythms and pounding basslines with a dark overtone of “Ritual Noise.”
The most radio-friendly track is “Brave New World,” embedded with catchy pop sensibility and a chorus that lures you in. Oddities that stick out like black specs on a white board would be “Happy Man” and “Sweet & Salty.” While 85% of the album focuses on the dance floor, these two veer off in opposite directions. “Happy Man” is bizarre, blippy, and video gamey, while “Sweet & Salty” drifts off in a trance-like state, with a spoken word frenzy that layers and rises, then fades off.
“The World Is Growing Loud” ranks as one of the most emotional pieces that Covenant has produced. A slow procession-inspired beat is joined by organ-like synth, flowing smoothly like calm ocean waves. It shows the band musically at their best, and spotlights their ability to reflect emotion through music.