Crime Records

Friday, August 16, 2013

Album review: The Wild Hunt - Watain

3 years after their extremely successful album 'Lawless Darkness' ,the Swedish black metallers from Watain are back. After such a great album it is very difficult to satisfy your fans with new stuff. The expectations are just too damn high and usually bands can't fulfil them. Has 'The Wild Hunt' got the potential to put their older albums in the shade? Only time will tell.
      I would say yes, it has. For me this is their best album by far. I'm not saying their older stuff isn't good, quite the opposite, their albums were some of the best in black metal. 'The Wild Hunt' is a fucking awesome album. How would I describe it? I'd definitely mention the words 'maturity' and 'progress' but also 'aggression' and 'brutality'. Let's begin with the track by track!

Track by track:
The first song on this album, 'Night Vision' is a calm, dreamy introduction, the calm before the storm. And what a storm! 'De Profundis', the second track beats the shit out of your ears! It's an orgy of brutality, speed and complexity! The lyrics for the third track, 'Black Flames March' were written by Set Taitan, who wrote the lyrics for their classic 'Legions Of The Black Light'. This song is exactly my cup of tea, reminds me of Bathory. Atmospheric, epic (Progressive) Black Metal. Definetly one of the best on the album. 'All That May Bleed' is less atmospheric and more aggressive. An awesome headbang-song! The fifth song is my absolute favorite, 'The Child Must Die'. The perfect mix of speed and atmosphere. This one reminds me of Burzum's 'Dunkelheit'.
   The sixth song is a ballad. Unbelievable but true: Eric Danielson singing.'They Rode On' is even more melancholic than the other songs. Just a beautiful black metal ballad. I'd like to hear more stuff like this. 'Sleepless Evil' is the complete opposite of 'They Rode On'. Old school, back to the roots Black Metal. Not really my thing.
     The title track is again a more melodic, a bit doomy song with clean vocals. 'Outlaw' is very chaotic and the percussion sounds like Sepultura's 'Ratamahatta'. The tenth song, 'Ignem Veni Mittere' (I came to inflame) is instrumental. The perfect soundtrack for Varg, if you know what I mean ;-). 'Holocaust Dawn' shows us how much variety there is in Black Metal! Fast blastbeats, doublebass, brutality and melancholy.

Watain has matured and went through progress. That progress was a very very good progress. They developed their own style of black metal. 'The Wild Hunt' has many influences from Progressive Metal. On this album they showed how much variety there is in their minds and music.
    It isn't that hard like their older stuff, but it's much more mature and shows the different sides of the band and their music. They're now at the level of Dimmu and Cradle. Let's hope they don't go too much in the pop direction, like the other two bands.
If you like Black and Progressive Metal this album is definitely worth a buy. Hell, even if you don't listen to metal at all, it's fucking worth a buy. This album would be a good introduction to the world of metal. Best black metal album since Immortal's 'Son's of Northern Darkness'!

Rating: 8 out of 10