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Szwecja / Sweden

Date of establishing :

Music genere:
ebm, electronic, futurepop, industrial, synthpop


Band members:

Eskil Simonsson - lead vocals, lead composition, engineering, lyrics, production, synths
Joakim Montelius - lead lyrics, composition, production, synths, additional vocals
Clas Nachmanson - engineering, production, synths, additional vocals


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, electronic music and several of its subgenres became a preferred musical style among European underground culture. It gained favor initially within major cities and eventually trickled into the continent's more socially secluded regions. This new wave of music was discovered at different instances by a group of young friends living among the shadows of Helsingborg. Eskil Simonsson, Joakim Montelius, and Clas Nachmanson, three teenagers were enthralled by the unique presentation and the emotional content offered through the music, specifically by that of bands such as Kraftwerk, The Human League, and by EBM pioneers Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb.
The friends carried this fascination with them to university life in Lund, a municipality lying approximately 50 kilometres (32 miles) southeast of Helsingborg. In between their academic endeavors and discussions of worldly affairs, they assembled a small recording studio in Nachmanson's bedroom and began to experiment with their own musical compositions. In 1989, the name "Covenant" was selected for the group name.
As Covenant, the three produced their first publicly-released track, "The Replicant", by invitation of Swedish record label Memento Materia. "The Replicant" was released on a compilation album in 1992, and the track thrilled label executives, prompting them to ask for a full album. In 1994, the group compiled enough songs to release the album, which became Dreams of a Cryotank. Dreams was well received by critics and fans alike, and with its success, the boyhood friends decided to take their musical efforts more seriously. They upgraded and added more equipment, relocated their studio, and committed to tour.
In 1995, Covenant performed at a festival in Germany upon the request of Off-Beat Records. The band impressed Off-Beat's attending A&R representative, who signed them to a record deal the following day. Excited by the prospect of broader exposure, the crew eased further away from their educational pursuits and devoted themselves to completing a new album, 1996's Sequencer.
With Sequencer, the band sought to improve upon the weaknesses they found in Dreams by combining sequencing, diverse melodies, and commanding lyrics. It became an instant classic among many observers, some of whom boldly declared it "the best electro album of the decade". It would go on to be re-released a number of times throughout the world and remains a club favorite in many settings.
Later in the year, San Francisco-based record label 21st Circuitry agreed to distribute Covenant's albums in the United States, expanding the band's reach in the process. As results, the group created the Theremin EP in 1997 specifically for an American release and started to accept tour dates throughout the US and Canada.
The trio's third full-length album, Europa, debuted in 1998. Europa carried Covenant's aggressive, often distorted brand of music into the beat-driven realm of synth pop, marking the beginning of a gradual evolution in the band's collective sound. Also in 1998, they sued a Norwegian black metal/Industrial Metal band (The Kovenant) for the rights to the name "Covenant", arguing that they had the name first. The Norweigan band changed their name, relenting and allowing both bands to go on with as few problems as necessary.
Covenant spent 1999 touring, changing record labels, and on the preparation of another album.
United States of Mind was released in 2000, and with it, Covenant's tendencies strayed further into synth pop. A stand-alone single called Der Leiermann, sung to the tune of the album track Like Tears in Rain, was a version of the German Art song of the same name, sung entirely in German (every other Covenant song has English lyrics). This song originally was a poem from Wilhelm Müller, which has been set to music by Franz Schubert as part of the poem cycle "Die Winterreise".
A live album, Synergy, was released later in the year; it featured tracks from the band's first four albums played in concert. The group continued with 2002's Northern Light, which they portrayed as having a more somber, colder sound in comparison to their earlier offerings. In another transition between labels, the European release of Northern Light was handled by Sony Music's Ka2 division rather than Dependent or Subspace.
While they continue to produce music together, Montelius and Simonsson have since taken up residence in separate countries; Montelius resides in Barcelona, Spain, and Simonsson lives in Berlin, Germany. Nachmanson remains in Helsingborg.
Covenant released its sixth studio album, Skyshaper, in March 2006 to an overall positive reception.