Black Metal Assault
The Scandinavian heavy metal scene has a reputation for producing some of the world’s most celebrated extreme metal acts. The band Watain, which formed in the late ’90s in Sweden, is no exception. The group is arguably one of the most well known black metal bands. Their music bears strong resemblance to the stereotypical Swedish black metal sound, which originated from bands such as Dissection and Marduk. With their new studio album, The Wild Hunt, Watain’s efforts have resulted in an album that successfully blends extreme aggression with melodic sounds.
Undoubtedly, the album contains a variety of musical elements which would appeal to the average black metal fan. Typically, the songs are made up of raspy screams, blast beats and heavily distorted guitars. Perhaps the greatest let down of the album, in fact, is that it sometimes sounds too typical. Though it does not always occur, a big portion of the music sounds generic, as if it’s been done before by countless other black metal bands. Sometimes, a catchy riff is replaced with a wall of noise. This is particularly disappointing because Watain demonstrate amazing music writing elsewhere on the album.
Negative characteristics aside, The Wild Hunt is overall a good album. The guitar solos, for one, are extraordinarily well written and executed. It is apparent that guitarist Pelle Forsberg has an advanced understanding of musical composition, as his solos are very intricate. Additionally, there are also some ambitious tracks on here that aim to provide something different. One of the finest tracks on the album, “They Rode On,” is a beautifully constructed ballad. It contains clean vocals, placid guitars and emotional guitar solos. Additionally, tracks such as “Black Flames March” provide catchy guitar riffs while still maintaining a memorable feel to the music.
All in all, The Wild Hunt is an album that is worth a listen, particularly for fans of black metal. Though the album does contain negative aspects, the positive ones are overpowering enough to make it an album worth picking up.