Watain – The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain Review

Watain The Agony and Ecstasy of WatainYes, Black Metal has reached the mainstream. Good to some, bad to others, disgusting to its die-hard fans. However, do not blame Watain alone for that. Other bands did it as well. Maybe, just  maybe it was mainstream that reached Black Metal and that’s a completely different story. There’s such a difference from to be sold from to be bought. Some years ago I would be with the ones that find it disgusting but some years went by and I now bands have to make a living. That’s the hard and cold truth. Maybe I got too soft but the world outside is pretty mean. I see no problem for a band to make honest money from their music as Slayer did. You, my dear fan, sure know that Slayer and Metallica are two pretty different stories. Right?

The more I listen to bands as Watain the more I believe in music as a way of storytelling. Sure I know “The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain” isn’t a concept album but the way the songs are arranged make me believe so. Not only the  way they are put together in this album but the way they were written. Another perspective, the more I listen to bands as Watain, the more I feel Prog Rock and Prog Metal influences. “We Remain” is a damn good example. Change the harsh vocals for a clean one and the outcome will be a Prog Rock or Prog Metal song. But Black Metal irreverent and blasphemic spirit is in it. Pay close attention to this track, my child of the night. A clean guitar solo. Inimaginable and inconceivable not so many years ago. Ok, calm down. The carnage and slaughter come next with “Funeral Winter” that reminds the good old times of true Black Metal – hey, don’t get me wrong. The trackis fierce and makes a damn good impact after “We Remain” and its Prog mood. That’s the contrast I love to tell you about, my dear fan.

I don’t deny bands the right to evolve musically. From where I’m standing, I see that Watain evolved a lot in this album. Of course, this is my opinion. I know that to many this albums is just a waste of time. Black Metal fans can be real harsh even to the bands the used to love. But the mainstream Watain and Craddle of Filthy are experimenting today is way different from what a band that starts with the word M had years ago. well deserved, if you get me right. “The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain” is a hell of an album no matter what.

Curious fact, all the iconography of “The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain” was thought to emulate as if the album were recorded in the 1980s though the music in it to be very modern. Controversies… Metal is full of them.

Watain “The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain” was released on April 29th via Nuclear Blast Records.

Track Listing:

  1. Ecstasies in night infinite
  2. The howling
  3. Serimosa
  4. Black c*nt
  5. Leper’s grace
  6. Not sun nor man nor god
  7. Before the cataclysm
  8. We remain
  9. Funeral winter
  10. Septentrion

Watch “The howling” official music video here: