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Album Review: Watain - 'The Wild Hunt'

30 August 2013 | 6:36 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Modern black metal filled with experimentation

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Swedish black metal band Watain have managed to become one of the most respected bands in the scene, known for their obscene stage performances and equally bone crunching sounds. The band's albums in the past have faced both love and scrutiny, and now Watain are back with their first album since 2010, 'The Wild Hunt.' Watain have really stepped up their game in creating something shocking and new with this full-length.

It's fair to say, past albums, 'Rabid Death's Curse' and 'Casus Luciferi' are anthems that are strongly loved and known throughout the black metal community. They were heavy, dangerous and classic, while the introduction of something new in 'Sworn To The Dark' caused some uproar, Watain have managed to improve on those newer, arguably more mainstream, influenced sounds to create what everyone is calling "modern black metal."

The album begins with a calming instrumental song, 'Night Vision,' before you are thrown right into the pounding, violent sounds that begin 'De Profundis'. This track is classic Watain, one to appeal to any fans of their older work.

The album continues with its ferocity, however slower elements are infused throughout the album. the band create just that little break and an ease of listening for people who may not be into that really heavy black metal. This full-length is something that may work well for expanding Watain's fan base with its musical diversity. Tracks such as 'All That May Bleed' have a little bit of a groove to them, while others such as 'The Child Must Die' hold a somewhat Goth/Rock 'N' Roll tone to it.

'They Rode On' is one that will have all Watain fans divided. It is a ballad with an acoustic intro, clean vocals and all. It might not be every Watain fans dream and maybe a little cliche, but this song works on an album where the band have tried hard to show their musical variety and refrain from repeating themselves. But don't let that worry you, 'Sleepless Evil' jumps right back on the ferocious black metal wagon.

 'The Wild Hunt' is a well put together album, with meticulous instrumental work and a whole palette of sounds for everyone. Watain have not abandoned their older sounds and fans will find things to love on this album, rather they have mixed classic sounds with experimentation. Watain have just managed to progress and evolve their sound in a smart way, which will easily capture a range of audiences while still appealing to metal heads all around.

Watain's new album 'The Wild Hunt' shows a level of progression and experimentation from the band, while still encorperating their much loved black metal sounds. There are slower elements throughout the record that may appeal to larger audiences. It's "modern black metal.'

1. Night Vision

2. De Profundis

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3. Black Flames March

4. All That May Bleed

5. The Child Must Die

6. They Rode On

7. Sleepless Evil

8. The Wild Hunt

9. Outlaw

10. Ignem Veni Mittere

11. Holocaust Dawn