The Black Metal Swedes Deliver a Blistering Success
The Swedish black metal collective kicked off 2018 with a blast (beat) with Trident Wolf Eclipse. For their sixth album effort, Watain dish out some of the most gruesome black metal today while maintaining some traditional rock n’ roll roots. The eclectic LP may be the band’s best work yet, as it presents a focused conglomerate of the bands past material along with a more mature sound.
Watain start off strong with the previously released single, “Nuclear Alchemy,” which puts on a black metal clinic in the ripping first half of the song. The reason this song is such a great opener is that it showcases many styles and change-ups that serve to foreshadow the rest of the album. At about the 1:45 minute mark, the song completely changes to take on a groovy rock tone, something that is thankfully repeated later in the LP.
The next song up is “Sacred Damnation,” which is probably the favorite on the album for any black metal purists out there. The track is 100% blast beats and minor guitar riffs. Possibly the darkest song on the album, “Sacred Damnation” screams brutal aggression in every heart-pounding second. Although the first and second tracks on the album are bound to be popular, “Teufelsreich” and “Furor Diabolicus” bring something entirely different to the table.
Watain is known to diversify in the black metal genre, but it would be tough to find anything in their discography that contains the same aura of moodiness as “Teufelsreich” and “Furor Diabolicus.” The closest comparison to those tracks from the band’s history just might be “The Light that Burns the Sun” and “The Serpents Chalice” off of 2007’s Sworn to the Dark. These kind of songs are a real treat to find on Watain’s albums. “Teufelsreich” and “Furor Diabolicus” extend the group’s past works to reveal truly beautiful melodies engulfed in emotional darkness.
Trident Wolf Eclipse continues on with a few intense songs before halting at the powerful rhythms of “Towards the Sanctuary,” which stands as the album’s second half highlight. The opening riff immediately grabs the listener, as the band profoundly creates a thrash metal atmosphere for a bit of a new twist. The track incorporates heavy black metal beats and eventually evolves into a masterpiece of dance-worthy metal at around the 3:30 minute mark.
Lastly, the album comes to an end with the eerie, almost Mastodon-sounding “Antikrists Mirakel.” The seven-minute hauntfest does not necessarily measure up with the songwriting on the rest of the LP, but it finishes the work in a very satisfying way. After all the chaos throughout, it comes in as a period to unwind and reflect as the song repeats mostly identical chord progressions throughout. The hypnotic nature of the song is even maddening at times, which may be why the band chose to exploit that and make it a seven minute giant of a piece.
Sweden’s black metal brigade has done it again twice over. Trident Wolf Eclipse not only indicates a strong band effort, but it also acts to demonstrate exponential growth in both songwriting and production. With blistering blast beats and rock n’ roll instrumental hooks, this album is destined to please dedicated black metal fans and casual metal fans alike.