Saturday, June 05, 2010

Watain: Sworn To the Dark (2007) Review

Terrorizer picked Watain's Sworn To the Dark as the third best of the decade. Thus, it got my attention. Because they have a new one coming out shortly, I decided now would be a good time to review it.

The long and short of it is it was an excellent pick for one of the best of the decade. The album is highly consistent, yet very interesting. The tracks range from the epic ("Satan's Hunger" or "The Light That Burns the Sun") to the full-on assault ("Storm of the Antichrist" or "Underneath the Cenotaph"), and two interesting interludes fill out the album.

Now, this elusive blend of variety and consistency only gets you so far without making the music engaging. The sound is a fairly standard Swedish black metal sound, so there's nothing new there. What makes it great is the songwriting. Most noticeable is that the songs are instantly memorable, but less obvious (by nature) is the clever subtlety employed. Metal is not generally known for being subtle, but that's what you'll find beneath the layers of evil. It begs you to pay close attention, and rewards you for it, with the variety of tempos and track lengths mixing things up and keeping it compelling for the full 57+ minutes.

The Verdict: This album is clearly an instant classic. If you want to know the current state of black metal, this is definitive. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent album, and I recently read a long interview in Decibel about the band. They are unique, to put it mildly. I am looking forward to their new album.