WATAIN “Lawless Darkness” /CD/



The fourth full-length album by Swedish Black Metal band.
Watain’s third album, 2007’s "Sworn To The Dark", catapulted the Swedish Black Mmetal band to Metal stardom. The hype for them in the Black Metal was very high. The band could have played it safe and replicated their last album, but "Lawless Darkness" is far beyond what many could have anticipated. This is the sound of a band at their peak, unapologetic and willing to risk everything in the name of evil.
"Lawless Darkness" is much grander in scale than previous albums. Watain seems hell-bent on not succumbing to the temptations of Black Metal conventions, using them more as guidelines instead of strict rules. Make no mistake; this is still a sinister affair, with plenty of slicing riffs and thumping blast beats to go around. The band has not gone up and left their roots, which will undoubtedly let long-time fans breathe a little easier.
What Watain has done is used the increased running length to broaden their atmospheric touches. Each song is over five minutes long and invokes a feeling of epic carnage, even with the more standard songs like opener “Death’s Cold Dark” and “Reaping Death.” The pace of the music is never one speed for long, which makes for an album where unpredictability plays a major role. Some of these moments include the thrilling guitar work on the instrumental title track and the harsh contrast between majestic harmony and static aggression on “Wolves Curse.”
While the latter half of the album flounders a bit, it all comes together at the end with the 14-minute “Waters of Ain.” A magnificent closer that ranks as Watain’s best song to date, the track doesn’t waste time with stretched-out ambient sections, making sure to constantly keep the intensity at unbearable levels. Clean guitars underneath samples of a torrential thunderstorm are an ominous start that doesn’t get any lighter. The last few minutes are highlighted by a tantalizing build up to an explosive melodic solo. “Waters of Ain” makes the three year wait for "Lawless Darkness" well worth it.
Whether Watain outdoes "Sworn To The Dark" on "Lawless Darkness" is up for debate. There is no doubt that the band took chances that they wouldn’t have taken years ago, which shows the natural progression that their sound has taken since "Rabid Death’s Curse". While there is a lot to digest on the album, which clocks in near the 75-minute mark, "Lawless Darkness" takes the band in an exciting direction that should bode well for them being positioned as one of the sharpest Black Metal acts in existence today!
Season Of Mist, 2010 (SOM 203). Made in France. Pressed in Austria. First press.


Tracklist:
1. Death's Cold Dark     5:29 
2. Malfeitor     6:58 
3. Reaping Death     5:08 
4. Four Thrones     6:16 
5. Wolves Curse     9:12 
6. Lawless Darkness     6:08 
7. Total Funeral     6:04 
8. Hymn To Qayin     5:57 
9. Kiss Of Death     7:45 
10. Waters Of Ain     14:28
Total playing time: 73:25


Samples:  http://seasonofmistcatalogue.bandcamp.com

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