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California’s electro-industrial favorites Delta-S have returned with Coven their first release since 2015’s The Mortal Veil. Thematically, the EP follows a trilogy of albums that include Voyage to Isis, Chasm, and The Mortal Veil; and many of the tracks on Coven are newer mixes of songs found on the preceding releases. Set within the same conceptual universe, the “story follows Omen and her coven of vampires after her beloved has betrayed her for the light.” It’s something a stopgap before the band embarks on a second trilogy, but in many ways the songs, especially the new material, rank among their most theatrically engaging yet.
Considering the ongoing story in Coven and previous related albums, the music is best experienced as something of a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist. Songs like the aggressive industrial dancepop of “Omen” function well on their own, but largely they work best together, relating to a continuing narrative. The fantastically ethereal “Death at Dawn” is the best example of this—it sits nestled perfectly within the context of the album, but perhaps only in that context. For established fans, Coven will be a welcome addition to the band’s oeuvre, but new listeners might want to start with the previous trilogy to brush up first.
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