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Darkness Beyond Imagination - 95%

powerblack, March 27th, 2013

Watain, the great Swedish act, has become an icon for the modern black metal scene, upholding the spirit of true black metal with majestic excellency. "Lawless Darkness" is their fourth full-length and follows the melodic approach of black metal showcased in predecessor “Sworn to the Dark”, but it certainly surpasses all of their previous efforts and yeah, “Lawless Darkness” is their opus magnum.

When talking about the music, Watain have always played it darker and sinister. "Lawless Darkness" is not different. The icy cold atmosphere and the frozen fury of dark, cold music shivers the listener like always. What is best about this record? Well, they showed their brilliance over their masters Dissection and proved that the stream of classical Swedish black metal is never gonna dry up.

Okay, the music on this record is just amazing. The guitars are evil and dark, which is usual for the genre. The riffs are excellent on this record. The harmonized rhythm guitar doubles the atmosphere. Another noticeable thing on this record is the solos, which is not very familiar with Watain, but on this record the guitar solos are superb and reach their peaks in tracks like “Malfeitor”, “Kiss of Death”, “Lawless Darkness”, and especially in “Waters of Ain”.

The bass lines are pretty high in the mix and they are quite audible. The bass follows the guitars throughout the album. The drums are flawless and there is a good touch of technicality in the drum tracks. The blasts are inconsistent, but there are rolls and fills frequently that suit the tracks very well.

Not much to say about the vocals. When it comes to the point of black metal vocals, Eric is the MASTER. They are so evil and vicious. Coming to the point of the lyrics, which have always been an important factor for Watain, and this record is no different. The lyrics on this album mainly manifest with black magic and occult themes. The band surely knows what they are up with and invokes that perfectly to the world.

The production may displease many raw black metal fans as the production is polished and pretty nice, but the clear production doesn’t hinder the atmosphere of this album. The use of ambiance appearing in "Malfeitor", "Wolves Curse", "Hymn to Qayin", and "Waters of Ain" take the listener to another dimension.

Watain once again mocks the "showing off" and cheap black metal kids with their mastery of playing. The name "Lawless Darkness" and the cover art describes the record perfectly. It's certainly gonna take the listener to the crypt of ancient darkness.