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Watain: Lawless Darkness

Average rating points:

Release Date: August 6th, 2010
Record Label: Season Of Mist

1. By Brianna Brackett

My rating points:

    Track Listing:
  1. Deaths Cold Dark
  2. Malfeitor
  3. Reaping Death
  4. Four Thrones
  5. Wolves Curse
  6. Lawless Darkness
  7. Total Funeral
  8. Hymn to Qayin
  9. Kiss of Death
  10. Waters of Ain
  11. Chains of Death (SS Cover) (bonus)

As I sit here listening to Watian's fourth full-length "Lawless Darkness" the setting is just perfect, a little breeze coming through my window, the dark clouds are starting to approach my evening darkness and waiting for a short thunderstorm to pass my metal throne.

As I'm in my deep thoughts questing thyself what is the true meaning of pure Black Metal? Is everyone so pure even if they have a side project that is not in the realms of old school roots of black metal? You know the roots of the immorality, obliteration, perilous and dark low-cost productions. From my research it's been known that pure and true black metal artists didn't perform at big concert venues, didn't go trigger happy and use top of the art studios. I, myself would never hold the title of being true or pure to Black Metal although I worship it. But I have an open mind to all metal and other styles of music.

Watian hails from Uppsala, Uppsala Lan, Sweden, since 1998, the year of my birth. Grim Rune Productions released their 7" entitled "The essence of Black Purity", which I need to get my hands on my mother's copy and call it my own. Their goal was to inject us with repugnance, obscurity, and blasphemy with this new album "Lawless Darkness" and past releases such as, "Rabid Death's Curse", "Sworn to the Dark" and "Casus Luciferi". It took them three years to craft this evoking album that will bring you on a crossing of the occult.

I, myself find it enlightening to pay attention and scrutiny to one's mind and visions. It's a well-written album that brings you the old school experience of Black Metal with the raw, vicious and a pure wicked vide. You don't hear emblematic high pitched shrieks like you do from other vocalists but growler and bassist Erik Danielsson sure knows how to deliver hellish severe vocals that will make your skin bleed without him using his spiked wristbands on you.

What stands out in my mind are crushing riffs and atrocious solos created by guitarist Pelle Forsberg, which left my mouth dropping and rewinding it over and over again. The harmonizing and metal rhythms remind me a little of Dissection and Sodom classics but this album stands in its own throne of Watain.

The drumming is very well ordered and not overpowering like you hear these days. You'll absolutely be disenchanted if you thought you were going to hear killer blast beats but I guarantee you'll be impressed with the assaulting double-kick mastermind behind this release. The existence is there but you just need to take a listen to each song individually as I have.

Tracks like "Reaping Death", "Malfeitor", "Four Thrones", and "Waters of Ain" want to scream words that I'm not allowed to say but do silently in my mind. "Waters of Ain" closes with grief-stricken solos and melodies that have impressed me to the fullest. I find this album having more of a melodic stroke compared to "Sworn to the Dark" but not frail as one would say. Each song is invoking, razor-sharp, malevolent and one day will be known as the veteran of the black metal pre-eminence. This is how black metal should be executed by going back to the roots where it once all begun. Enough Said!

To obtain this blasphemic CD and for more information, please visit Watain's official website.

2. By Kelley Simms

My rating points:

Watain create grim atmospheres and discordant sounds of evil. On the Swedish demons' fourth release, Lawless Darkness, vocalist/bassist E (Erik Danielsson), drummer H (Hakan Jonsson) and guitarist P (Pelle Forsberg) play old-school evil black metal with flair. Watain are one of the most well-respected black metal artists of today, and they have really progressed their sound from album to album.

There is an old-school feel and vibrancy to Lawless Darkness, with guitar melodies that really stand out. There aren't as many blast beats as there are real dynamics in the slower-paced songs, which are injected with atmosphere and complex guitar layering. The music is very structured and very much Watain's way.

Most of the songs have an "epic" feel to them, ranging from 5:08 to 14:29, and the album clocking in at 75 minutes. Various tempo changes within the song structures keep mundane and monotonous at bay.

The vocals are raw and tormented but decipherable. H is not the greatest drummer in black metal, but his dynamics keep it interesting, and P's guitar work is amazing. The production might be a little too polished for the taste of the true BM hordes, but it is clean and consistent, with just the right amount of distortion.

Obvious comparisons to Bathory, Celtic Frost, Venom and, most notably, Dissection (E was their touring bassist) abound on Lawless Darkness.

The opener, "Death's Cold Dark", blasts away from the start with E's violent vocals and H's thunderous double kick drumming. The guitar tone and some eerie melodies on "Malfeitor" make for a good atmosphere. The title track has a great guitar solo and interesting riffage, which keep the atmosphere moving along. The longest song on the album, closer "Waters of Ain", flows by nicely and fades out with a great guitar solo, chimes and light keyboard overtures.

Lawless Darkness is a great black metal album that will surely entice metalheads who are still on the fence about black metal to cross over to the dark side.

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