WATAIN – The Wild Hunt
It does not go unnoticed when Watain releases their fifth album, namely The Wild Hunt. Especially when most of the comments that have flourished online has created such strong reactions among a large fan base. If one were to interpret what is being said, you’d think that Watain has chosen a new direction – perhaps the worst of them all: so called "mainstream black metal". However , after the first listenings I would say that I strongly disagree .
The song "De Profundis" kicks off after the intro, and it is far from as conventional that you would think after being force-fed with comments from disgruntled fans. This is the type of black metal Watain is known for, and it can be seen in the context of the previous releases. The majority of the songs as well could have been released on Sworn to the Dark or Lawless Darkness . Anyway I will say that I hear far more references to older extreme metal in different genres than previously , without compromising Watains easily recognizable style .
The songs that were released as a teaser through Century Media, and the root of all the negative publicity before the album was released, namely "All That May Bleed" and "The Child Must Die" may probably be regarded as tracks that are more easy to reach than some older songs from Watain. I will in no way say that they ‘ve deserved the shit they have received online. It remains brutal and melodic as Watain alwayshave been, and if you put these songs together with "Malfeitor" from Lawless Darkness as an example, no one can say that they have become softer on this album. However, what has led many to turn their heads and look like a question mark is the ballad "They Rode On" . I say ballad , but then you are living a world where everything needs a label. A world where only metal is dark and gloomy, and all other genres of Music is something you will not be familiar with . This is a song with acoustic guitars and clean vocals, melodic guitar solos and everything one does not associate with the genre of black metal. However, it works. They made this song With a huge portion of self-respect, and last but not least it shows a little more insight into both their own personal musical world – whilst they have opened a much larger and more interesting world within the realm of Watain. You know that you are already looking forward to the next album, just to see what they come up with the next time. This should also be said about the title track " The Wild Hunt" . Not a ballad, but again with chanting and clean vocals – a song that only scares the worst black clad metalheads.
After following Watain few years so I would say that the impression I ‘ve had all the way is that all choices made are very conscious, and I think this is no exception. Maybe Watain lose some of the most hardcore fanbase, but on the other hand , I think they will reach out to the masses they previously could not reach. And with a band that combines music and message in such a way I guess it is in their own interest , both philosophically and economically, that the fan base continues to grow – Without taking the sting away from the albums Watain has released previously , and without losing face as individuals and bands. This stands as one of the most important releases in the genre this year, and you should really give the album enough time to experience it in its entirety and make up your own mind , because this is a very good album that just grows and grows every time you hear it.
The Child Must Die: http://youtu.be/ilbKGd9ezMY