Watain Trident Wolf Eclipse Review
Watain has been one of the more polarizing black metal bands to come out of Sweden in recent memory. Known for their pulverizing live shows, intense song writing, and mysticism they have steadily been on an upward trajectory in the Black Metal scene. Their new album Trident Wolf Eclipse follows their most experimental album The Wild Hunt and is another milestone in one of the darkest stars of the Black Metal scene.
- Nuclear Alchemy – This song is probably one of my favorites on the album and lets us know right from the beginning Watain is not here to fuck around. The guitars start off fast and savage with the drums thundering along. Through all the chaos Erik Danielsson’s vocals slice like a knife against bare skin. The song is very straight forward and aggressive. I feel like they wanted to start this album off with a brutal song like this to dispel some of the people unhappy with their last album. Nuclear Alchemy is a perfect title for this song. If you had to put a sound to a nuclear explosion I feel this would work.
- Sacred Damnation – The guitars start off a little slower on Sacred Damnation, but they still keep the sinister and punishing tones and sounds many black metal fans love. At the half way point of the song the guitars and drums back off a bit to let some chanting and slower vocals take over. The guitars in this break down repeat an evil sounding riff as Erik keeps spewing his blasphemous lyrics. Eventually the song starts to pick up again and build up the heaviness started from the beginning of the song. They ride out the last little bit of the song on crushing instrumentals that never let up.
- Tuefelsreich – The 3rd song on the album starts off a lot slower than the first two. It puts focus on Erik’s vocals as a nefarious riff repeats for a little over a minute. Around the half way point of this song the band starts to pick up the speed a little while the same original riff plays in the back ground. The song goes back and forth between slower and faster speeds. One of my favorite parts of this band is Erik’s commanding vocals and this track showcases it.
- Furor Diabolicus – About half way through the album and this song brings the same intensity found on Nuclear Alchemy. From the beginning seconds of this song the whole band blasts out their black alchemy at full speed. The guitars and drums sound like bullets piercing the air as Erik’s vocals stab through the wall of instrumentation. This song is another pretty fast and straight forward black metal song. Brutal and aggressive are the best ways to describe the feeling of this song.
- Throne Below – As with most of Watain’s lyrical content it involves satanic mysticism and dark subject matter. As you would guess the Throne Below is one of those songs about Hell. The lyrics talk about its inhabitants taking back what is theirs from the depths of the abyss. The song hits the ground running right out of the gate. However, about a minute into the song they inject some other riffs for a brief break before the brutality picks back up. A little over halfway through this song they have a small break down that I can see being awesome in the pit of a live show. The rest of the song continues at ramming speed till the end.
- Ultra (Pandemoniac) – This song has a small build up before the fangs come out. This is another song where Erik’s vocals are front and center. This song is pretty straight forward. The guitars and instruments on this track don’t change very much. This song is straight to the throat fast and heavy with Erik’s infernal screaming splattered all over the track.
- Toward The Sanctuary – Watain keeps the brutality coming with more razor sharp guitars and menacing vocals. The drums never let up from the beginning of the song. The first few minutes of this song sound like a tornado going through a trailer park in heaven. I like this song a lot because half way through they add more dark sounding riffs. Towards the final few minutes of the song the guitars slow down to give it a little grove before picking back up to pulverize the last few little bits of the track.
- The Fire of Power – One of the few slower songs on this album starts out with a head banging rhythm as it plods forward. The song is probably the closest thing you will find to a sing along song in this album (use this description very loosely). The drums continuously pound on this album as the tempo of the guitar is toned down a bit. The hard hitting vocals and drums repeatedly smash the listener with interesting guitar riffs layered in the back ground. There is a small bit of a melodic break down towards the end of the song, but it is soon crushed under the waves of vile instrumentation and vocals.
- Antikrists Mirkakel – The last song on the album and the longest starts off with guitar noise droning on for about a minute before the bands instruments kick in at full force. It is a slow build up with chanting in the background. It never really gets to the speed or brutality of the other songs and is mostly an instrumental track. I look at it as more of an outro. There are also some weird sound effects and guitar layering going on as the song runs its length. Probably my least favorite song on the album, but it does make a good outro. The instrumentation is diabolical and heavy. The song fades out at the end with nefarious feeling as it winds down to silence.
I really enjoyed the new Watain album. I didn’t mind them experimenting on their last album, but I look at this album as more of a return to form. It has the violent and aggressive guitar sound I enjoy in black metal albums. The production on this album is great. Erik’s vocals are some of the best in black metal and they are on full display here. They are probably one of the best metal bands I have seen live (luckily have caught them 3 times) in the last 5 years. They are very good at building walls of sound and not drowning their vocalist in it. Can’t say that about a lot of black metal bands. I enjoy their embrace of all things dark and the mysticism that surrounds this band. They are one of the better bands in their scene and this album is a good statement of what they do best which is make sinful and malicious music for us metal heads to thrash to.