Jan 032018

 

(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Watain, which is slated for release on January 5 by Century Media.)

 

There once was a band named Watain
Whose music and gimmick became
Extremely divisive
They dressed up like bikers
And from it reaped “fortune” and fame

Ok, so the above limerick may not be 100% accurate, but I think it gets the broad strokes right for the most part. But perhaps, for an album as important (and potentially provocative) as this one, some more context is needed?

 

 

After all, Watain have (inarguably) become one of the biggest names in Black Metal, partially through their own hard work and graft, and partially through the luck of the draw, being in the right place, at the right time, and by being prepared (and willing) to capitalise on every opportunity that came their way.

In the process, the band have (also, inarguably) become one of the most divisive artists in Black Metal today, inspiring reactions ranging from fawning adoration for every song they produce (often before they’ve even been heard) to rabid disgust at their perceived lack of sincerity and knee-jerk condemnation for having the temerity to be popular.

For my own part I have always enjoyed Watain’s work. I like both their first two albums, and acknowledge their seminal status in certain circles, and I particularly enjoy Sworn to the Dark (which is something of a minor masterpiece in my book) and Lawless Darkness, even though those may be the “predictable” choices..

 

However, I will say that The Wild Hunt was a disappointing record all in all, not because of its more polished and more accessible sound (which, truth be told, wasn’t far removed from Lawless… for the most part), or because of the Metallica-sized ambitions of a certain clean-sung semi-ballad… but because so much of the album felt like uninspired filler packed in around a handful of prominent singles which the band actually were invested in.

And I know I wasn’t alone in holding this opinion.

Which, of course, left the band stuck somewhere between a rock a very hard place, with a big decision to make. Either they could press forward into more mainstream waters, in the knowledge that doing so would likely alienate as many old fans as it would (potentially) gain them new ones, or they could attempt to go back to their roots, knowing that this would inevitably be seen by many as an admission of failure and/or a desperate attempt to recapture past glories.

So what’s a band to do in this situation?

 

 

Well, one listen to apocalyptic opener (and first single) “Nuclear Alchemy” should clue you in, with its unexpectedly (but by no means unwelcome) aggressive delivery and barrage of bruising, bombastic riffs giving the song a slightly Necrophobic-esque feel, an impression which is quickly hammered home by the lightning fast assault of “Sacred Damnation” and the moody malevolence of “Teufelsreich”.

So far, so good… so Black Metal. But if you were expecting a sudden curve-ball like “They Rode On” to derail this momentum, well, you’re going to be disappointed, as Trident Wolf Eclipse seems to have only one goal in mind – re-establishing the band’s reputation as a blackened force to be reckoned with.

And, by and large, it’s pretty successful in this regard, landing somewhere between Casus Luciferi and Sworn to the Dark in overall tone and timbre, albeit with a meatier, more modern production job than the former and with less of the grim grandeur of the latter (enigmatic closer “Antikrists Mirakel” notwithstanding).

Tracks like “Furor Diabolicus” and “Ultra (Pandemoniac)” are amongst the most vicious and visceral the band have produced in years (with the latter being a real contender for the album’s best song, although the titanic “The Fire of Power” could also claim that particular honour) and there’s some real venom and vitriol to the vocals of Erik Danielsson this time around, spitting forth his vile imprecations with more intensity and conviction than we’ve heard from him in quite some time.

If nothing else, the band’s belligerent, blasphemous anthems just sound that much more forceful and convincing than the contrived (though still enjoyable) “Satanic biker” shtick of a song like “Outlaw” ever did, and while overall Trident Wolf Eclipse is generally more of a good Watain album, than a truly great one (spoilers there for the end of the year for those of you who care about such things), it will undoubtedly go a long way to winning back some of the band’s fans who jumped ship after The Wild Hunt.

So whether you’re a lover or a hater, a dedicated disciple or a lapsed adherent to the cult of Watain, this is still worth giving a listen to, as it might just restore (or simply reaffirm) your faith in the band.

 

Pre-order:
http://smarturl.it/TRIDENTWOLFECLIPSE

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/watainofficial/

 

 

12 Responses to “WATAIN: “TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE””

  1. Miss Felony Strutter says:

    Well all I can do is pray (to whom exactly…) that the box set version I purchased off Watain’s web site that it arrives on Jan 5. I ordered the Nuclear single two weeks before the Oct 31 release date got to me the second week of November. SO I ordered a back up digi pak from Century Media, it is Jan 3 and STILL has not shipped although they said it would ship Dec 21 or 22 (YOU SUCK CENTURY MEDIA) so I ordered the box and digi but who knows if I will have them Jan 5. I for one LOVE WATAIN and sorry but I have loved everything they have done. I am proud to say, as a metal head/hard rocker since age 3 in 1976 (KISS ARMY BITCH) I am not your typical closed minded BM fan, OMG those people are stupid. “They sold out blah,blah blah..” that is why WATAIN is still playing clubs in the USA. Dumb ass fans. My fave two album are Lawless and Sworn but I have loved everything they have done and even the Amazing WILD HUNT. I think the Wild Hunt was amazing and the experimented and grew without selling out. To me WATAIN have been in the Metallica “Master” era for most of their career they are that brilliant. I get sick to my stomach every time I hear someone bitch about “They Rode On.” IT is a great song off a great album. So I am so happy for the new album. I only wish they would have included in the box set the full demo “Fuck Your Jewish God” and or live boot “Black Metal Sacrifice.” I really think releasing the full length of one of those in the box set would have been so amazing. I love the first two songs I have heard off the album and the video for Nuclear is awesome and LOVE the scene of the hill with the Trident. So I cannot wait…again I love everything they have done and I am not “sheep.” I stand by this, My favorite band forever and ever will be KISS..make up or no make up, no matter the line up KISS RULES my heart. That being said there are a few bands that hold a special place in my heart right under KISS and they are: Iron Maiden, STRYPER (YEAH I SAID IT CLOSE MINDED ASSHOLE WHO TALKS SHIT), Testament, DEATH (sleep well my friend Chuck), Lita Ford, COF, RATT, DOKKEN, Death ANgel, WASP, Marduk, 80′ s Metallica and WATAIN. WATAIN is the BEST metal band to come out since their birth in 1998. WATAIN for me is the BEST Black Metal band of all time. If I had a Black Metal USA tour dream it would be a co-headline tour of WATAIN and MARDUK with openers Darkened Nocturnal Slaughter Cult, Thornspawn and the reformation of the BEST USA black metal band Thy Infernal. OMG that would be THE BM tour of all time.

    I await January 5 with my bond loaded, a few lines read to go and me in my sexiest Metal leather outfit…cum get me WATAIN …eclipse me….

  2. Miss Felony Strutter says:

    CORRECTION BELOW

    Well all I can do is pray (to whom exactly…) that the box set version I purchased off Watain’s web site that it arrives on Jan 5. I ordered the Nuclear single two weeks before the Oct 31 release date got to me the second week of November. SO I ordered a back up digi pak from Century Media, it is Jan 3 and STILL has not shipped although they said it would ship Dec 21 or 22 (YOU SUCK CENTURY MEDIA) so I ordered the box and digi but who knows if I will have them Jan 5. I for one LOVE WATAIN and sorry but I have loved everything they have done. I am proud to say, as a metal head/hard rocker since age 3 in 1976 (KISS ARMY BITCH) I am not your typical closed minded BM fan, OMG those people are stupid. “They sold out blah,blah blah..” that is why WATAIN is still playing clubs in the USA. Dumb ass fans. My fave two album are Lawless and Sworn but I have loved everything they have done and even the Amazing WILD HUNT. I think the Wild Hunt was amazing and the experimented and grew without selling out. To me WATAIN have been in the Metallica “Master” era for most of their career they are that brilliant. I get sick to my stomach every time I hear someone bitch about “They Rode On.” IT is a great song off a great album. So I am so happy for the new album. I only wish they would have included in the box set the full demo “Fuck Your Jewish God” and or live boot “Black Metal Sacrifice.” I really think releasing the full length of one of those in the box set would have been so amazing. I love the first two songs I have heard off the album and the video for Nuclear is awesome and LOVE the scene of the hill with the Trident. So I cannot wait…again I love everything they have done and I am not “sheep.” I stand by this, My favorite band forever and ever will be KISS..make up or no make up, no matter the line up KISS RULES my heart. That being said there are a few bands that hold a special place in my heart right under KISS and they are: Iron Maiden, STRYPER (YEAH I SAID IT CLOSE MINDED ASSHOLE WHO TALKS SHIT), Testament, DEATH (sleep well my friend Chuck), Lita Ford, COF, RATT, DOKKEN, Death ANgel, WASP, Marduk, 80′ s Metallica and WATAIN. WATAIN is the BEST metal band to come out since their birth in 1998. WATAIN for me is the BEST Black Metal band of all time. If I had a Black Metal USA tour dream it would be a co-headline tour of WATAIN and MARDUK with openers Darkened Nocturnal Slaughter Cult, Thornspawn and the reformation of the BEST USA black metal band Thy Infernal. OMG that would be THE BM tour of all time.

    I await January 5 with my BONG loaded, a few lines read to go and me in my sexiest Metal leather outfit…cum get me WATAIN …eclipse me….

  3. Miss Felony Strutter says:

    I am friends with Stryper and have been since 1987. They are different bands and both AMAZING bands and both bands love their fans.

  4. The Wolf says:

    Personally I think They Rode On and the title track from The Wild Hunt are two of Watain’s best songs ever. I’m sure I’ll still enjoy this new album, but hopefully Erik finds a side project where he can let loose with some non-Black Metal clean vocals more freely.

  5. Miss Felony Strutter says:

    It can be sometimes LOL, listen unless smiley faces and shit are used it is hard to see where someone is coming from and being who I am, I am used to people being mean to me. Stryper is AMAZING by the way. The only three guitar duo’s (trade off solos) that can match Michael and Oz from Stryper are Maiden, Testament and Queensryche.

  6. Glenn Whitehead says:

    That first cut really rips! Sounds great although they need to up their hygiene a lot! Maybe some deodorant.

  7. Dave says:

    I was concerned this band was going to go all “In Solitude” on us, but I’m glad that’s not the case. I liked the The Wild Hunt, but I didn’t love it like previous albums. This is a welcome return to the Watain I love.

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