Review Summary: Watain's sophomore album provides a great listen and demonstrates that they know how to craft brilliant and powerful black metal4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Swedish black metallers Watain are a band that have risen exponentially since their first album 'Rabid Death's Curse'
broke onto the scene, becoming almost a household name in the black metal scene. With their second album 'Casus Luciferia'
, Watain cemented the raw black metal style that dominated their first effort, creating a brilliant album that contains all the elements that go into creating a memorable and powerful black metal album.
The work of vocals is taken on by Erik Danielsson, and he does a fantastic job, spitting aggressive hateful lyrics with powerful and harsh screams and growls that could come from Satan himself. Each song is centred around his harsh vocals, whilst his vocal pitch doesn't often vary, it doesn't need to, the melody lines he creates vocally perfectly fit the aggressive guitar lines, placed at the forefront of the mix, they dominate the songs. Watain approach this album with one thought, classic black metal, there are no clean vocals hear or orchestration, Danielsson roars away on every track alongside the band. Danielsson also proves himself an adept lyricist, avoiding the black metal trap of just ranting with stereotypical lines about why God is so bad or how a Church needs to be burnt, instead choosing to take these topics and put more thought into conveying them, for example on 'Devil's Blood'
'Ageless, eternal in grace
Behold the snake of temptation!
Eyes gleaming with wisdom,
tongues telling of truths inversed
I have swallowed the hanged man's semen
with necrophageous delight
and let the Devil enter
with all his might'
Instrumentally this album blends different guitar styles, sometimes going for melodic lines, sometimes heavy riffing (see 'Black Salvation'
), and others classic black metal tremolo lines ('Devil's Blood' as an example
), perfectly balancing the chaos of classic black metal, and melodic lines alongside catchy hooks and riffs, creating something entirely different all together. On this album, the guitarists are clearly talented and blend all the different elements into their songs. The production is crisp on this album, allowing everything to be heard, and the guitars are done well, the crushing weight of their sound bringing an aggressive edge to the sound. The bass is audible on some tracks, though tends to follow the guitar line, save on Puzzles Ov Flesh'
and 'Opus Dei'
where it provides quite interesting melodies of its own, it takes nothing from the sound, but not really contributing much either. The drums on the other hand, provided by Håkan Jonsson, are a great addition, providing an exciting barrage of sounds ranging from blast beats, furious drum rolls and rhythmic technical patterns.
As is constantly pointed out by elitists and critics, you can hear influences in the sound of Watain, particularly Dissection, but Watain appear proud of these influences, and blend them together and add to them to create their own unique sound, one that has captured many in the black metal scene and has led them a long way, they transcend these influences and move ahead. What Watain have done here is craft an excellent black metal album, memorable and technical and highly enjoyable, with brilliant roaring and snarling, imaginative and technical guitars with a crushing sound, and drums that pound away with furious blast beats and technical lines. Anyone who is a fan of classical black metal, or even more modern black metal should definitely give this album a listen to.