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The Grimness of "Lawless Darkness"! - 88%

MystifyXD, June 16th, 2010

With every blue moon comes a Watain album… Of course, I was just joking there a while ago, but figuratively speaking, I could say that it really is true. Since 1998, Watain has only released four full-length albums, “Rabid Death’s Curse” (their debut full-length), “Casus Luciferi”, “Sworn to the Dark” and “Lawless Darkness”, which is, no doubt, the band’s fourth album (and their latest one, as of now).

First things first, the songs here have a chorus, and although the songs have a minimalist approach, they play more varied black metal riffs here (but still sinister, of course), which I find as a plus if done right. If there is something I really like here, it’s the unique vocals here, which sound more like a raspy scream, unlike the vocals on “Casus Luciferi”, which definitely sounded raspy. Meanwhile, the drumming here, just like before has moments for some simple 1-2 beats and some moments for some blast beats.

Though the album has a lot of mid-paced moments, especially good (or rather, evil) ones like “Malfeitor”, “Kiss of Death” and “Wolves Curse”, songs like “Death’s Cold Dark”, “Reaping Death” and “Total Funeral” contain a lot of speed too. The title track in this album is a six-minute instrumental, and it isn’t even that black metal, mind you. Despite that, it managed to be eerie enough not to be out of place in this album. Last but not the least; we have here “Waters of Ain”, a song that spans for more than 14 minutes of pure blasphemy and evil. The song has good transitions, speed and brutality (and I mean a lot), and a good ending solo, making it one of the album’s best songs, though the solo isn’t even close on sounding like black metal.

The thing here is that the album has a somewhat polished production. I know that we aren’t in the age of bedroom black metal anymore, you know, but a little crisp and/or a little fuzziness in the production won’t hurt. However, the real issue here is that the album is a “Sworn to the Dark, Part II”. “Lawless Darkness” follows the vein of their last album three years ago, plus some other non-black metal influences. Although I don’t find anything wrong about that, they could at least try a different approach to their music (perhaps adding progressive elements won’t hurt).

Well, even though not a pure black metal album, “Lawless Darkness” still is a great album of its own right. It might not appeal you much at first for its non-“kvlt” tendencies, but try to go with the flow when you listen to this one and feel the grimness within “Lawless Darkness”!

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