Rating:
8.3
Watain - Lawless Darkness
7 June 2010


01. Death's Cold Dark
02. Malfeitor
03. Reaping Death
04. Four Thrones
05. Wolves Curse
06. Lawless Darkness
07. Total Funeral
08. Hymn To Qayin
09. Kiss Of Death
10. Waters Of Ain
11. Chains Of Death [Death SS cover] [Digipak bonus]


So with much anticipation, stoked by a three year wait and the crazed proclamations of E. Andersson, Watain have released Lawless Darkness, the follow-up to the crushing Sworn To The Dark.

I'm not sure if this is going to live up to the hype provided by their outspoken front man, who is to pre-album proclamations what Morbid Angel's Trey Azagthoth is to batshit crazy liner notes… the album has been out a couple weeks and no fires raining from the sky Satamic apocalypse have befallen us.

I consider that a plus.

But I do think the album lives up to the expectations of those reasonable folks who understand you won't spark Armageddon and the extinction of all life on Earth by cutting an album.

Lawless Darkness is a ripping affair.

Erik Danielsson froths furiously into the microphone - you can hear the scorn in his voice. It's top notch. It horrifically captures anger and derision, delivering a litany of horror, death, fire, and black at the listener. Particularly "death" and "black" … the two words are so often used I wished I had patented them. I could retire on the royalties.

The guitar work is the second critical element which really make the album something special. There is great diversity in the riffing… mach 666 speed E-string abuse are combined with crunchy thrash-style riffs, tremolo runs, melodic leads, and even a nice facemelting solo create a powerful atmosphere that runs the entire length of the record. Songs contain enough of each element (aside from the solos. There is but one I recall offhand… a solo solo, if you will) that they shift between modes effortlessly, going from breakneck pace to thrashy choruses. Songs walk the razor's edge of being simultaneously twisted, dark, and flamingdarkdeathevil* while being a little catchy.

Furthermore, the tone of the guitar is awesome. It contains enough distortion that the riffs sound just vile… but at the same time, when they allow (wrong-sounding, and I mean in a sickly sounding way, not a compositionally incorrect way) chords to ring out, ring out they do.

Sure, there are some pounding, forceful rape of the drum kit, and I may have even heard the bass a time or two, but it's the combination of the vocals, guitar, and strength of composition that form the corrupt heart and soul of this release.

So while popping this disk into your cd tray won't bring about the "Coming of the Great White Handkerchief" (<insert the form of Ragnarok that coincides with your system of beliefs here>), it's a diabolically splendid album and is highly recommended for those of you who take your metal like I take my coffee… Black. With two lumps of goats blood.



* was struggling for an adequate adjective to use without reusing the same ones I had used earlier in the review.. couldn't think of one offhand, said "fuck it" and thought WWWD? (What would Watain Do?)… in 11 song titles, "Death" is found 4 times, "Dark" twice… I threw the Watain Thesaurus in a blender and that's what came out.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Watain
Album: Lawless Darkness


 



Written on 22.06.2010 by
Xnoybis
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by Xnoybis ››



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jupitreas - 23.06.2010 at 01:10  
I'd just like to add that Carl McCoy's guest appearance here has to be the worst guest appearance ever. So much hype!!! All we get is a single muttered sentence. Thats it.
Sunioj - 23.06.2010 at 04:43  
LOL, WWWD! That's hilarious! I thought it was def a step up from their last album. I really missed the raw guitar tone that Casus Luciferi had, and I even think this album had better production too in that sense. I did notice the bass wasn't as audible, but that's ok really. Some distorted bass ala Casus Luciferi would've been nice, but I cant complain about this album. It's really good.
Enemy of Reality - 23.06.2010 at 17:00  
I also think that Loless Darkness lives to the expectations. It's an incredible display of knowledge on how to do extreme yet quality black metal. It's on my top 10 of 2010.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.06.2010 at 20:52  
I tried this again, it's still like watching cricket i.e. I droned out pretty sharpish, there's still some nice sections but feels horribly generic.
Ozman - 23.06.2010 at 21:40  
Watxhing a cricket test match ia thw best thing one can do imo. And even trhough this is a great album, better than Sworn but not as good as Casus, it doesn't come close to watching all The Ashes matches
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.06.2010 at 23:32  
Written by Ozman on 23.06.2010 at 21:40

Watxhing a cricket test match ia thw best thing one can do imo. And even trhough this is a great album, better than Sworn but not as good as Casus, it doesn't come close to watching all The Ashes matches

Well... I agree with the Casus bit ;]
UnknownCheese - 24.06.2010 at 01:27  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.06.2010 at 20:52

I tried this again, it's still like watching cricket i.e. I droned out pretty sharpish, there's still some nice sections but feels horribly generic.


Pretty much, though this band has never been more than black metal for soccer moms.
Dangerboner - 24.06.2010 at 05:12  
My only problem with this album is that they don't let their ideas develop all the time. Malfeitor is a good example of this - there will be a fucking awesome black/thrash moment for like 10 seconds, then it gets slow and less interesting, then picks up again. Usually I like frequent changes in songwriting, but sometimes this harms their songs and ruins the overall flow. This happens throughout the entire album.

I still like Lol-less Darkness of course and it will most likely be my favorite black metal release of 2010, but I prefer Sworn to the Dark and Casus Luciferi.
Warman - 28.06.2010 at 00:54  
I frickin' love this album. It was love at first... whatever, you know what I mean.
Uirapuru - 03.07.2010 at 08:17  
Way more versatile and enjoyable than the previous... this is how I like their sound

Almost as good as Casus in their respective purpose.
Sulac - 07.07.2010 at 04:18  
Yes!!!!! Hitchhiker's Guide reference!!!!
Necrodamus - 19.08.2010 at 20:37  
Great review. This album rips, or should I say REAPS.
Troy Killjoy - 20.08.2010 at 05:39  
Written by Necrodamus on 19.08.2010 at 20:37

Great review. This album rips, or should I say REAPS.

You should be banned from making puns.

This is an awesome album, not as good as Casus in my opinion, but a solid release filled with energy.
Necrodamus - 20.08.2010 at 17:23  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 20.08.2010 at 05:39

Written by Necrodamus on 19.08.2010 at 20:37

Great review. This album rips, or should I say REAPS.

You should be banned from making puns.

This is an awesome album, not as good as Casus in my opinion, but a solid release filled with energy.

Lol, was it really that bad? Totally agree, this actually got me into the underground side of black metal.
Destructo - 20.01.2011 at 19:21  
One of the best reviews ever......U totally nailed it on this one. Oh and the album is great too !!!
MétalNoir - 01.02.2011 at 04:02  
Great review, I haven't listened to the album yet, but at least the review made me laugh. In a sinister way, of course. Something like moohahahahahaha or gnak gnak gnak. Y'know.

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