Sunday, November 1, 2009


Watain 'Sworn to the Dark' LP 2007, Season of Mist

Watain are one of the most celebrated Black Metal bands around today, but they rule. This is Black Metal from Stockholm, Sweden and they've been around for ten years or so, long enough to release three LPs that all stomp ass and do a lot of world tours, including shows with the legendary Celtic Frost. Anyways this shit slays. The way that the sounds come together on this record summons quite wicked and sinister vibrations- of course thats the idea behind many albums but when done right, a powerful and ripping thing. The Watain sound is huge and polished for maximum headbanging, they sort of have a Dissection-style approach to it with harmonies and sharp but classic rhythms that get pulverized with papery double bass hits, often Death Metal-like. Sworn to the Dark is layered with eerie guitar melodies and I know that they want us to think of ill shit like Satanic worship and sacrifice and magick and blood. It is a cool listen because of the detail that went into the album as a whole, it creeps back and forth like symphony does. They sort of sound like Dark Funeral at times, perhaps due once again to the truth that they are fairly well known around the world and tour in a bus. collaborator Brown One did a tour that Watain headlined and apparently their guitars got fucked up at a show so they had to get new ones before the show the next day. So Watain bought new axes and proceeded to bleed and vomit and piss and do drugs off of and whatever else could quickly ritualize and sanctify their Guitar Center purchase into evil harps that sing devils music. Also on this tour, Watain had a cooler that contained bloods as well as the heads of rotting pigs, and they put them all over the stages of the places they played, as their stage sets are elaborate and completely gross. During the whole tour, the heads continually rotted and were roasted by the hot stage lights, and people at the shows puked and bartenders wore masks- on top of that, a friend's band who played some of these clubs a week afterward on their tour said that Watain ruined the places, they were having to get new carpet and wood and whatever to get rid of the putrid stench that wouldn't clean out. Strange and whatever, their music kills and on top of that, their dialogue and such is interesting. The singer/bass Erik Danielsson was interviewed on this otherwise awful Black Metal documentary I watched and the manner that he spoke about 'the perversion and the insanity' of Black Metal was intriguing and well played. During this session he made lots of matter of fact statements about shit and did so with charisma and certainty, which I found thought provoking. In particular he spoke about wolves, the never ending hunger they experience, their constant pursuit. He spoke on the role of a wolves in society, to exist opposite to sheep, to inflict rather than react in the world around. Thought out and intelligent bands will always rule, no matter the infinite amount of mindless bands with no ideas. Alas you can still get these 2xLPs from some places, as it was released in the past few on a somewhat large label. There are also some picture disc editions of it, if you are into that.

photos- Brown One

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