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Watain – The Wild Hunt


Watain - The Wild Hunt

Watain take another turn at revitalizing the old arts of black metal.

There is always something about new age black metal, most are filled with trickery, wankery or are completely off-set by a strangling level of fusion between genres. Rarely, there are bands who take the ‘traditional’ approach but for the most part they fall under the radar and lack the distinct flair of their pioneering betters. Watain stand above all of those preconceptions and bring a raw modern aged black metal that has enough twists in contrast to maintain the stranglehold they have earned on black metal mainstream. It’s fair to say at this point the works of Mayhem, Gorgoroth and Celtic Frost are only memories. Sure, they set a tone for a sound and created a genres stereotypes out of virtually nothing but being all those years ago it’s time for some new heavyweights. Watain make haste for the new era of black metal. They might not have the atmospheric mystique of acts like Deathspell Omega or Secrets Of The Moon, nor do they have the transcending balance of Alcest or Agalloch but the straight-forward antics of this Swedish black metal act make head-way in a crowded and most of the time under-par genre.

The Wild Hunt is a display of grandeur, but not in the way most would think. Watain bring influences from almost all facets of black metal and combine them on a single album. It’s certainly above ordinary, Watain make the best of an over-populated sound. It’s black metal, it’s melodious, forward-thinking, smooth, rough and shows all the maturing musical contrast of a band truly hitting their stride. There’s a lot of little tid-bits, minimal effects and underlying melody lines and subtle themes. ‘The Wild Hunt’ maintains a constant motion. Even the album’s opening track “Night Vision” greets the listener with eerie melody before opening up to a thick and intense display of modern black metal that never forgot its roots. What makes this release all the more fascinating, is that the band presents a semi-progressive feel to the music. Swelling tones, drawn out bridges, varying tempos and intensities, Watain bring something new to an already crowded sound.

Overall, this is solid new age black metal. It contrasts and swells, truncates where it should and hints at the good ol’ days. It’s highly atmospheric, relies on a decent amount of melodic backing without becoming too overbearing and should you be able to hear the slightly folk-y undertones to tracks, it might make you re-think just how expansive this Swedish act really is. At ‘The Wild Hunt’s’ core it’s an album of sinister yet sublime metal magic. As mysterious as the music is supposed to be, with each listen there is little in the way of surprise, but you get the feeling that’s the way it’s going to be. Watain aren’t making a statement, they’re performing a ritual. ‘The Wild Hunt’ is your chance to be a part of it.

3.7/5

1. Night Vision
2. De Profundis
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

About Robert (279 Articles)
Site Owner and Admin, From Australia - your local metal loving maniac. Swinging the Dead since 1992. Want to get in touch? thesonicsensory@outlook.com

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