Kovenant – S.E.T.I. (2003)

March 24, 2024

Not sure what happened here, because Animatronic, whilst divisive, appeared to come off as a successful experiment. I guess what SETI does is double down on the style of that previous album, but maybe the band pushed too far with this one. SETI is like, what, 80 minutes long? 80 minutes of mediocre industrial metal is enough to drive anyone to absolute madness, regardless of quality, but SETI fails to deliver the instant satisfaction of Animatronic; none of the songs are remotely as memorable, there are no hooks or passages that stick with you, and the vocals are decidedly toned down too. The guitar and drums give way for the synthesizers to lead the songs, but when every time all they offer is the same formless bubbling techno stepper sounds, this gets old very fast. You could probably shave nearly half of the songs away from this thing and the album would just be stronger for it.

Thankfully, the production is enormous (although there’s no saving that snare sound), and the album starts to correct its course from around the half-way point, with tracks like “Acid Theatre”, “The Perfect End”, “Pantomine” and “Industrial Twilight” really shining the most.

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