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Lawless Darkness

SEASON OF MIST Nov 16th 2012
Vinyl
319 NOK
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WATAIN have created an epic masterpiece of utter darkness. Clawing their way out of the Black Metal underground yet firmly remaining part of it since their founding in 1998, the Swedes have already become a major player in the genre with “Sworn to the Dark” (2007). Now they are ready to conquer the throne with “Lawless Darkness”. The world’s extreme music press are already lined up in eager anticipation. WATAIN have quickly established themselves as a phenomenon of most sinister kind. Starting with the 7” EP entitled “The Essence of Black Purity” (1999), which was soon followed by the acclaimed debut “Rabid Death’s Curse” (2000) the trio from Uppsala gained a massive following by showing a merciless devotion to their creation. Their second full-length “Casus Luciferi” was hailed as one of the most relevant underground Black Metal albums of the new millennium. Their outrageously intense live rituals imbued in blood, fire and magic, which WATAIN celebrated sharing stages with DARK FUNERAL and ROTTING CHRIST, made the Swedes gain an enormous reputation. Now WATAIN are ready for the next step in their fast rising career with several cover stories in major Metal magazines already reserved. “Lawless Darkness” amalgamates severe blackness with an uncanny knack for capturing melodies and beauty of the darkest kind, which even attracted Carl McCoy of the FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM to add his vocals in a stunning guest performance. WATAIN are out to get you and there is no escape!There's something particularly apropos about the pitch-black whirlpool depicted on the cover of Watain's fourth studio album, 2010's Lawless Darkness, since the fast-rising Swedish black metal troupe has, for quite a few years now, been relentlessly swallowing fans of all metallic stripes into the unfathomable darkness of its (to quote Dave Mustaine) sanguinary sect of worship. Sure, some detractors (and of course there are many in a genre where no band is ever extreme enough for everyone) of Watain's oftentimes eclectic yet still roots-oriented approach (they pledge allegiance to the so-called "orthodox black metal movement") will probably interpret the same image as representing a Charybdis-sized toilet bowl, flushing black metal's trve/cvlt traditions down the pipes. Well, in the immortal words of Watain's sadly deceased Swedish black metal forefather, Quorthon, "Vhatever!" So what if the stentorian gang shouts of "Four Thrones" seem best suited to packed arenas rather than dingy clubs, or that the NWOBHM riffing boosting the epic "Wolves' Curse" really puts the roll into black and roll, or that -- good God, or rather, Lucifer! -- the summarized mission statement "Reaping Death" was actually released as a single!? Fact is, Lawless Darkness is black metal through and through, and Watain even make a point of retaining some cardboard-sounding drumbeats in honor of lo-fi pioneers like Venom and Bathory, ferchrissakes! This is why purists looking for their fix need only look to the pulverizing fury unleashed by "Death's Cold Dark," "Total Funeral," and "Kiss of Death," or the Emperor-worthy melodies swirling madly across "Hymn to Qayin," or the majestic glacial desolation of "Malfeitor" and the instrumental title track. Finally, there's the ultimate swan dive into the abyss that is the 15-minute-long, all-encompassing "Waters of Ain," which feels like a mini-album unto itself, and casts a blinding spotlight upon the full scale of Watain's latest, significant achievement for the advancement of black metal's cause.