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UFO
COVENANT

SPV
Produced by: Not Listed

Released: JULY 31 / Website
Closest Relative: Scorpions
GENRE: Hard Rock
OVERALL: 89%

  1. Love Is Forever
  2. Unraveled
  3. Miss The Lights
  4. Midnight Train
  5. Fools Gold
  6. The Middle Of Madness
  7. Smell Of Money
  8. Rise Again
  9. Serenade
  10. Cowboy Joe
  11. The World And His Dog

I, like many of you, have been waiting a long time for this. The last UFO album in 1995 (Walk On Water) was a top class serving of melodic rock. It contained a lot of energy and thanks to producer great Ron Nevison was crisper than a frozen lettuce.
So it's only been a short 5 year wait and here is the new album Covenant. Like with Walk On Water's A Self Made Man, the opening track is again a cracking rocker with menacing guitar riffs twisting into a cool mellow chorus.
It's clear from the outset that this album is a rawer and less polished affair. The sound is also little different - possibly as this is only a UFO 3 piece, plus drummer Ansley Dunbar.
It's hard to see Michael Schenker ever having a bad day, nor vocalist Phil Mogg. Both are having a great day on Covenant. In fact the more relaxed stripped back approach may have been beneficial to the results.
Unraveled and Midnight Train are both excellent hook filled uptempo rockers, two of my favorite tracks of the album.
On Fools Gold, the band takes a rare chance to mellow out. This track looks like being a great slow blues based AOR ballad until at 1 minute 30, Schenker decides to crank it up and the pace doubles. Then again at 3:30 a 2 minute guitar solo kicks in and the song moves into psychotic mode. A great rocker!
And the album keeps rocking until the very last beat of the last track. Not a ballad, nor a filler in sight.
The other plus for this album is it contains 11 new tracks. Walk On Water was a little short, with only 8 new tracks and 2 remakes.
BOTTOM LINE: Fans of UFO will lap this up. Schenker fans will love it! No one should be disappointed with this new album. However! One small thing - The raw production sound shouldn't affect anyone, but I am torn between deciding if this album is as musically inspired as the last one. I still can't decide. I think it is a more honest rock album, so therefore it probably does rate better. This is as close to perfect UFO as you will get.
PRODUCTION: 85% SONGS: 92% VIBE: 90%ATTITUDE: 90%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All UFO & Mogg/Way fans and all Michael Schenker fans.



17/09/05: metalden - metalden@free.fr
Rating: 90
The rating is rarely the same at the first listenings and after a few listenings, some albums sound great at the first listening
then are boring, and also the opposite. Generally with UFO, for me it is necessary to wait to have the final feeling, and it's the case with
Covenant, but 5 years, now it's OK !! So my rating is 90, and should probably have been less in 2000. There was 5 years between
Walk on water and Covenant, but time has not been lost to finally leads to a so great product.
1- Love Is Forever ***** great song writing, a "new" UFO classical, Phil and Michael sounds great
2 - Unraveled ***** idem
3 - Miss The Lights ***** very good Michael intro and riffs, great voices and songwriting, another new classical
4 - Midnight Train ***** speed train, Pete and Ansley drive fast, I like this train !
5 - Fool's Gold ***** begins like a fine ballad and then gradually speeds, again great rythmic,solo, voices!
6 - In The Middle of Madness ***** beeing in this madness leads to a great mid tempo
7 - Smell of Money *** a good rock tune, song writing may be not at the top like previous ones, but OK.
8 - Rise Again ***** great intro,again a great mid tempo classical
9 - Serenade ***** a good surprise, this great serenade with spanish colors and Michael creativity at the top
10 - Cowboy Joe ***
11 - The World And His Dog **** The two last tracks are "normally" good !
Manu other reviews of Covenant can be found on UFO forum : http://metalden.free.fr/forum/

05/12/04: bill w. - Blazbwoo7@aol.com
Rating: 90
A truly great cd, whats wrong with you people and your bad reviews, plenty of great guitar and phil sounds great,Get over Walk On Water, yes it was awesome but its tme to move on ,this cd rocks!! give it another listen and clean the wax out of your ears.

18/07/02: Lou - work@cant.com
Rating: 85
NOT NEAR AS GOOD AS THERE FLAWLESS COMEBACK ALBUM "WALK ON
WATER" BUT WERE TALKING UFO HERE. EVEN THERE WEAKEST ALBUM...
REALLY THEY HAVE NO WEAK ALBUMS , SCHENKER OR NO SCHENKER .
THE TUNE "SERENADE" IS WORTH THE PRICE OF COVENANT . THE
RIFFS ON THIS ALBUM ARE VINTAGE SCHENKER . AYNSLY DUNBAR
FILLS ANDY PARKERS SHOES FINE . ANY TRUE HARD ROCK FAN WOULD
BE PLEASED WITH THIS RELEASE .

19/05/02: PABLO RIOFRIO - priofrio@hotmail.com
Rating: 93
Un muy buen trabajo de Mogg y CIA. La verdad la produccion es un poco cruda pero son buenas canciones y perfectos solos. Se debe decir que existen temas realmente excelentes como LOVE IS FOREVER, SERENADE, con buenos riffs e inspirada vocalizacion. En fin, un muy buen disco de UFO, un poco diferente eso si pero muy bueno.

05/02/02: Max Steiger - msteiger@cmp.com
Rating: 0
A major disappointment. I have been a huge UFO fan since "No Heavy Petting" and was shocked at the level of boring these guys reached with Covenant. Riffs...some of Micheal Schenker's lamest moments, songwriting...less than mediocre, vocals...expressionless, production...subpar. Keep the live CD...I'll keep playing "Strangers in the Night" or "Werewolves of London". Was Paul Raymond the glue holding these guys together? UFO has now left the building. Thanks for the memories.

12/12/01: Dan MacDonald - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
I can't believe the slagging this album has gotten it is a good solid effort,& as for comparing it to WOW does anybody realize
the huge budget(Japanese)that this album(WOW)was allotted.
The harmonies & guitar hooks are 1rst rate & as per usual Phil
Mogg's vocals are passionate & honest.The only thing really missing is Paul Raymond.I would've scored higher but I know
they are capable of more.fav-track "Cowboy Joe", just love that
riff.

19/10/01: Magnus - magnus.beronius@seb.se
Rating: 90
This is taken from my webpage http://home.swipnet.se/mberonius/
and I wrote this 2000-07-18:
**************************************************************
HOLY FUCKIN' SMOKE - Sorry, can't find another way to say IT !

The Unidentified Flying Object are back:
Harder, Cooler More Raw than EVER.... I just 'luuuuuv' this CD !
[As the 'Sad Old Bat' would say....]


Yesterday [2000-07-17] I had the opportunity to borrow the new UFO-CD:Covenant, I'm still waiting for my copy [got mine now]. So 'afterwork' I went home and 6 h'rs later .... :o) wet of sweat ! The first three tracks: Love Is Forever, Unravelled & Miss The Lights rock's off like real UFO-classicals. Great heavy riff's straight from the hips of the Axemaster him self mixed perfectly with Mogg's vocal and speaking of Phil - he has never sounded more heavy than before. He's doin' a tremendous work on this album !!! If this wasn't enough - the pace are now getting faster & faster with the next two rollerCoaster: Midnight Train & Fool's Gold. There are only 'one' word for these two songs - 'PeteWay'. Fast and Heavy and Phil's voice again are just f.... great. Fool's Gold starts up very soft and a with a nice touch of blues and You're thinking: perhaps a new Love To Love ..... and then Schenker goes 'crazy' ! Next track out is In The Middle of Madness, a very 'catchy' song with a great chorus. Smell of Money & Rise Again are two heavy and 'bluesy' songs with cool riffs that both could have been from the album Force It! Track No. 9 - Serenade - is a surprise. Very 'Spanish/South American' style, one of the absolute [vodka] coolest songs on this album. So far one of my favourite among the 'ass-cool-kicking-rocker' Unraveled. When you are getting to the ending solo you are about to 'cry' of happiness.... The two last tracks: Cowboy Joe, The World And His Dog rock's off great with two sharp-cool guitarsolo's. The World And His Dog will be the perfect ending-encore - YEAHHH ! Over all this is the most strongest & completed, in my opinion, record UFO has ever made. Covenant can't really be compared with 'WOW' - the records are 'playing' in two different 'leagues'. The sound is very raw and heavy, I don't really know how to explain it but it sounds 'BIG' & fresh and Mogg's voice are better than ever - deep and RAW. There is really not a song which is poor or weak, 11 strong tracks, I promise You. And of course the guitarplaying from Schenker is superb. Soooo I don't think that any of You 'Die-Hard-UFO-Fans' out there will be disappointed. However there is one 'problem', many of the songs are fading out to quick. When tho solo is 'getting to the point' it starts to fade out...
***************************************************************

14/01/01: Scott Watson - scottw@mfx.net
Rating: 85
Yes Walk On Water was better, but Covenant is still a must have for any UFO fan.

10/01/01: Matt Smith - mrsmith@infinitewardrobe.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 5
UFO need to rethink where they want to go. This album becomes boring very quickly and will probably not get played very often. Walk on water showed so much promise but the unfairly criticised Aint Misbehaving is fair better than this. Whose fault this unwelcome change of direction is we shall never know, but as I write this, they have split up again. If you ask me they need to ditch schenker (yes it was his fault ) and get somebody more reliable, bring back Paul Chapman or Tommy Mclendon, Covenent is an album for UFO die-hards only.

07/01/01: Craig - bish@eisa.net.au
Rating: 50
The 50 is for the bonus live disc. As for the rest, I would rate the very average early eighties album higher than this! There is no spark here at all. Walk on Water was an awesome comeback. Here it sounds like no band member is even interested in contributing to this album. Add to this the poor quality production and you have one heel of a mess! Quit now guys before you drag the UFO name down with you!

24/11/00: Stephen - xanadu115@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
Yes Walk on water was better, so what. You can't expect every album to be as fantastic as the last. Musical direction changes as we grow older. This is good stuff by a band that I'm happy are still pumping out great music. Granted I do agree that this production isn't as good and could have been rushed due to a deadline. Or not as much thought or feeling was put into it. Also it seemed to me that the live tracks were not in the correct order as it shown on the listing. But no matter I'm glad I purchased this collection from a band that I consider one of the best and will play it often.

04/11/00: Dan - diptixon@aol.com
Rating: 50
To be honext, this album is just not very good. I am a huge UFO fan and feel that Walk On Water is far better than this. The songs just aren't intersting. It doesn't sound like they were inspired or spent much time on the material. I think Schenker and Mogg are just churning out crap to make a buck at this point; everything that Schenker's done since Written in the Sand and all the Mogg/Way stuff is just weak, in my opinion. Don't bother with this CD. If you want to hear UFO like it should be, listen to the old stuff and Walk On Water.

25/10/00: NODDY - nod@machinemen.com
Rating: 78
A solid album. I do not rate this as highly as Walk on Water, but it was enhanced by the addition of killer new versions of Lights Out and Doctor Doctor so possibly the comparison is unfair. One problem I have always had with UFO is their lack of genuine all time classic songs and Covenant again confirms that belief. Love is Forever, Midnight Train, Fools Gold and Seranade are all good, solid tracks, but I doubt if they will be contenders for a best of 2000 compilation?
Bottom line, Covenant is a lot better than MSG's recent solo stuff but slightly below par for a legendary outfit.

23/10/00: Vince - pier6brawl@aol.com
Rating: 60
I gave it a 60 due to the live cd! Nowhere as good as Walk on Water, what a classic that was!!!! Where is the Sckenker soloing?!?!?! The production?!?!?!? More so the songs?!?!?!?!? A waste of money I even heard it first & bought it cause I love Schenker & Moog! Retire please!

11/10/00: SC - epilogue@inficad.com
Rating: 0
What a sad day when what remaining members of UFO can stand to be in the same studio for a mere two weeks or less and churn out this waste of plastic. Sorry folks, 'Walk On Water' blows this away! 'Midnight Train' and another song are worthy of a listen but that's about it. It sounds contrived and forced as 'Walk On Water' sounded a bit more natural. There's nothing on here they'll be playing after this tour and I'd be willing to bet that this stuff doesn't go over good live. It's sad to see a band that has written good material reduced to this sorry state of just getting together to make a buck. This album lacks passion, conviction and songwriting. Don't waste your money on it. And the bonus disc(on the Shrapnel version)sounds like crap quality wise. I don't need something live to be polished up as 'Werewolves Of London' is far better than this and captures the raw feel of a live show while maintaining a good, raw sound. But this bonus disc lacks seriously in sound quality. And the track listing is all screwed up. Leave it to Shrapnel. All in all, I think there are songs on 'Ain't Misbehavin' that blow this away. This isn't a good album by any means. In fact it's right up there with another UFO album I'll probably never play again, 'High Stakes And Dangerous Men'. 'Adventures Of The Imagination' and either Mogg/Way album is far better than this churned out piece of slapsomethingtogetherquicktomakeabuckexcuseofanalbum. Avoid it.

10/10/00: PACHI - fjavier_mj@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
Para el tiempo que pasó desde el ultimo trabajo, parece que las canciones fueron fabricadas muy deprisa, falta algo de maduracion en las mismas; a veces, da la impresion de que no concuerda la letra con la musica. Creo que esta mas conseguido Chocolate Box, este engarza mas con la tradicion UFO que Covenant. Decepcionante.

05/10/00: Bruce Alexander - balex12@aol.com
Rating: 40
If it weren't for the live bonus CD that came with this album, I would have rated this album at 0. First off the production is way below par when compared to Walk On Water. But production aside, the songs are downright boring and lifeless. This is the worst album I have heard with these four people. On the other hand, the live disc is quite good and comparable to the Live at Wolverhampton disc.

24/09/00: Bengt Nielsen - morzelago@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
This album is a total fiasko not as good as the walk on water album the good old Ufo feeling is totally gone it doesn,t even sounds the way ufo should don,t buy it.I,ts like the title on the album,i.ts just a covenant!!!

21/09/00: David B. - barod@pegasystems.com
Rating: 70
Definetly not as good as Walk on Water (WOW). Schenker isn't as strong as he was on WOW or Adventures of the Imagination. Covenant sounds like it was rushed or thrown together. Where WOW was instantly accessible, these songs are sort of wierd in structure and take a good deal of "getting used to" before they start to grow on you. Eventually they will grow on you to a certain degree, but even then, put on WOW after a heavy doses of "trying to like Covenant," and WOW still kicks Covenant's ass down the block. By the way, I am I the only one who thinks Ansley Dunbar sucks and that his wimpy drumming is a detriment to every album he plays on? Paul Raymond? Where the hell is Andy Parker?

20/09/00: eric vinger - evings1@yahoo.com
Rating: 88
great album,could'nt quit playing it for awhile.not as crisp sounding as Walk on Water,but certainly acceptable.Maybe not as strong as Walk on Water,but more songs.When they only rarely put out albums with this lineup,everysong is appreciated.this lineup is magical,but maybe just abit missing with not as good production,and raymond missing.

19/09/00: brian burgess - brianburgess1@yahoo.com
Rating: 78
Definitely not a classic from my favorite band. Sounds more like Mogg/Way than vintage UFO. Paul Raymond's input is sorely missed...after the stunning "Walk on Water" CD, a big disappointment...


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