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Sworn to the Dark - 91%

PaganWinter_44, July 8th, 2007

Watain's new release is no dissappointment. I've heard many bad things about this album. People say that this is just a rip-off of old Dissection, and that it is a clone of Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas." I disagree on both accounts. The Dissection influence is present, but not enough to be called a rip-off. I have thoroughly enjoyed this album.

The best things about this album lie within the musicianship. There is simply more effort going towards the music itself rather than lyrics, atmosphere, or appearance. This is something that is really rare in black metal. 99% of your average black metal bands just do your basic tremolo picking, annoying blast beats, a practically non-existent bass line, and your high-pitched screeching vocals. Watain doesn't do this in this album.

The guitars in this album do not just buzz on and on as if you just purchased a cd full of white noise. Someone in black metal finally learned to turn the treble down. They remain at a volume level that keeps the raw atmosphere, but doesn't make it so raw that you can't tell what is being played. There is actually a bass line that doesn't always follow the guitars. Their bassist gets to show off some of his talent in many of their songs. The drums are changing the rhythm. There are actual parts where they go into half-time feels and double-bass kicks. They don't plow through the song with blast beats for seven minutes.

Though this is a good album, there are a few things that I find annoying. Musically, Watain has saved their best songs for first and last. Legions of the Black Light and Stellavore are easily the best songs. Everything in between just seems kind of dull, with the exception of Sworn to the Dark. It would've been better if they did not blow their load too quickly.

Overall, this is an amazing release. Those who are avid fans of Watain will surely appreciate this new release. This is one of the cds that I am proud to have in my collection.