Watain are what I see as a much needed injection of youth into the black-metal scene of Scandinavia. Watain's sound has grown sharper, keener and altogether more epic through the years, with "Lawless Darkness", their fourth album, thundering into life, blasting Bathory-esque and energetic black metal left, right, and centre, with atmospheric and tightly played black-metal.
The album us very melodic, with the guitars making amazing atmosphere, and the whole work being very well produced, which compliments the style excellently. Songs like "Malfeitor" contain some of the finest lead work and melodic parts which I have heard in black metal, if not beyond. Many songs, notably the one mentioned, have a very sorrowful, and yet not dark, sound, thanks mainly to the guitar work, and slow, complimentative drumbeats strewn throughout the song. Other songs on the, such as "Total Funeral" are much faster, grittier, and more downright-belterish, with Watain showing not only their atmospheric abilities, but their fantastic technical skill too.
My personal favourite on the album is the epic-length closer. At over fourteen minutes, "Waters of Ain" is a hefty piece of music. But of all the fourteen-minuters I've ever listened to, none have captured me in the way this one did. It blends fast, furious parts with fantastic slow-bits, some of the finest on the album, which, to be honest, has it's fair share of fantastic slow bits. Some of the solos sent shivers down my spine, and It takes a certain calibre of music to do that.
You could, if you so wanted to, criticise the shortage of short, to-the-point songs on this album, but when the songs are all long, and they all sound so good, you'll probably change your mind. Watain have created what I can only describe as a black-metal masterpiece, and every song is worth listening to.
I give this album 9/10.
Watain on Myspace