A fierce shriek across the ashes of our empires laid to waste by violent misanthropic music: Black Metal. Certainly thriving in the darkness, this darkness that just grows bigger. This atmospheric aggression just continues. An impassioned howl to the demons within and only getting colder. By its very definition Black Metal is evil, experimental and extreme. Watain are sworn to this darkness and getting ever bigger. Their 6th album, Trident Wolf Eclipse, shall embark its waves of assault this Friday (5th Jan) and is the long awaited follow up to 2013’s The Wild Hunt. After the carnage ensured by albums like Sworn to the Dark and Lawless Darkness, Watain took their vicious Black Metal and took a rather controversial step with The Wild Hunt. Perhaps 5 years will make sense after all.
Trident Wolf Eclipse feels the part of a blood soaked Watain from the get go. Watain feel back on firmer ground again. The snarled Echoed vocals rough and destructive just as you’d expect from a band wanting to literally reign in blood. The guitars violent and harsh, the drums energetic and extreme. The Wild Hunt felt strange, aggressive evil at its core but treading in random directions. Trident Wolf Eclipse feels more determined to cut deep. ‘Sacred Damnation’, ‘Furor Diabolicus’ and ‘Towards the Sanctuary’ really takes this extremity and makes it an impassioned call of death. Akin to the kind of violence that Watain have become associated with, each song is more accomplished and confident.
Remarkably for all the strengths of atmospheric vocals and powerful drumming, it is the guitar riffs that expertly form the darkness into a building atmosphere that launches itself right down to the pits of an eardrum. Knowing how to keep a blastbeat rooted in speed and catching you through a hook or two, solidifying a raw power only known by some of the more noteworthy Black Metal bands. A celebration of the absolute darkness in nihilism, their still tear a dark and twisted hole.
Trident Wolf Eclipse is a far more rooted and solid album, bathed in the blood of the victims of a five-year war. A back to roots affair with the evil inspirations at the heart of the impetus of Watain. Their sixth album steers away from its predecessor, far happy to bath the former glory darkness. It may come as more of the same for Watain and this, as well as being firmly for Black Metal fans only, is this album’s only shortcomings. But Watain do this so well and with sneer in their hearts as their music curses the lands – or the speakers anyway.