Watain – The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain

8/10

It is with great ferocity that Watain, four years since their last full-length release, makes their return an literary starts of their 7th full-length album ”The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” with an explosion of the organised chaos that is Watain at their best, in the great opener ”Ecstasies in Night Infinite”!

The delightful madness, without any chance to a breather, continuous in the, although maybe slightly less chaotic but equally furious, ”The Howling” and shows exactly why a new Watain-record always is, and should be, highly anticipated!

But Watain isn’t all about the chaos and brutality. The melodic and epic side of their songs, or rather the combination of the brutality and the more catchy, canorous stuff is something that often make them stand above other bands in the genre and the third track, “Serimosa” is a fine example of that.

“The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” continuously presents a great variation of songs, combining the furious stuff with more atmospheric songs all through the album, with songs like “Lepper’s Grace” and “Funeral Winter” representing the harder ones, enjoyable mixed with epic sound-journeys like “Before the Cataclysm” and the concluding, epic masterpiece “Septentrion”. Hell, we even get something almost like a “ballad” in the calm and hypnotic “We Remain”, with fine guest vocals from The Devil’s Blood’s Farida Lemouchi!

If one is to have any objections, there isn’t really any catchy hooks on the album, and regarding that it is a quite, in my opinion, lengthy record, at least I would have found it nice to have something “special” to catch on to traveling the dark soundscape the ten songs creates. As it is, I almost feel like that the individual songs are better than the entirety but with that said, the album grows every time I listen to it, so I guess I’s just a mater of time ‘till I find it, at least almost, as enjoyable as the classics “Casus Luciferi” and “Sworn to the Dark”!

I’m quite sure that Watain doesn’t give a shit about what other people might think about their music, but if they did, “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” sure isn’t something to be ashamed of but a great “come back” to the scene! Twenty-four years into their career, Watain doesn’t show any signs of fatigue, neither regarding the frenzied madness nor the intricate and appealing melodies and song writing. Recommended!

https://open.spotify.com/album/7qmZz6yfRiXAoW4lgOPi4W?si=Qk2DdLgtRDCHvP_GsGNz0Q

Artist: Watain
Title: The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain
Rating: 8/10
Label: Nuclear Blast
Playing time: 49:22
Date of release: 2022-04-29
Place of origin: Sweden
Standout track: Ecstasies in Night Infinite

Watain – The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain

April 30, 2022

I’m quite sure that Watain doesn’t give a shit about what other people might think about their music, but if they did, “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” sure isn’t something to be ashamed of but a great “come back” to the scene!

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