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Watain: The Wild Hunt

The Swedish black metal juggernaut known as Watain have been bludgeoning audiences & listeners alike for quite a few years now, and their latest Century Media release The Wild Hunt indicates the Satanic horde show no signs of slipping. Just as brutal as previous releases, yet with a slight element of sophistication cropping up thanks to some bits of acoustic guitars and even (gasp!) clean vocals, The Wild Hunt more than delivers the uncompromising brutality the band has become known for.

After the orchestral "Night Vision", "De Profundis" busts out of the gate with plenty of venom and ferocity, while "Black Flames March" slows down the tempo but not the menace, as Erik Danielsson's ravaged vocals rasp and howl amidst a textured but furious onslaught. "All That May Bleed" is raw, primal black metal, but the band then tosses in the melodic, black metal meets gothic rocker "The Child Must Die", a real change of pace and quite catchy, with haunting clean vocals and screeches battling for supremacy over more traditional heavy metal arrangements. This then segues into the even more surprising "They Rode On", a slow acoustic ballad featuring all clean vocals, as Watain seemingly go dark ominous folk, and you know what, it works. It's a nice change of pace, quite melodic, and shows the band having another side to their otherwise pummeling delivery. "Sleepless Evil" lurches the band back into sledgehammer black 'n' roll, and the title track has a doomy flair to go along with some atmospheric, epic elements. The snarling fury of "Outlaw" will surely sit well with fans of the bands more extreme, maniacal side, but the gorgeous instrumental "Ignem Veni Mittere" once again sees those acoustic guitars come into play alongside some metallic fury. Closer "Holocaust Dawn" brings out the blast beats, manic tremolo picked riffs, and evil screams to conclude this pretty varied black metal affair.

No doubt the use of some melodic, folky elements are going to turn off the die-hards who only want 'million miles an hour' brutal Watain, but I think the added variety here does the band some good. If you don't like their blood soaked evil image & equally evil ideology, The Wild Hunt won't soften your stance on these guys, but, if you love black metal but thought Watain's act was getting a little stale, this one shows they have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Track Listing
01. Night Vision (3:39)
02. De Profundis (4:33)
03. Black Flames March (6:21)
04. All That May Bleed (4:36)
05. The Child Must Die (6:04)
06. They Rode On (8:43)
07. Sleepless Evil (5:38)
08. The Wild Hunt (6:21)
09. Outlaw (5:07)
10. Ignem Veni Mittere (4:39)
11. Holocaust Dawn (7:07)

Added: September 27th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1123
Language: english

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