Watain: The Wild Hunt

Produced by Tore Stjerna in Alvik, Sweden, The Wild Hunt marks the fifth full-length for Watain. Honing in on cleaner vocals and production quality, the album introduces with “Night Vision,” a slow and steady track with soft guitar notes that sets a forlorn tone for the rest of the record. While Watain might have cleaned it up a bit, avid listeners can still expect the same unforgiving, antagonistic manner and precise technicality that makes this black metal group stand out. With songs ranging from just under four minutes to over eight, The Wild Hunt racks up to one full hour of intensity.

“They Rode On” is one of the longer tracks off the record and sets the mood for a melancholic experience. Maintaining a steady pace, the song emphasizes clean vocals, drawn-out guitar solos and soft female harmonies toward the end. Each song off The Wild Hunt reflects a certain object, and while Watain might have taken a more sorrowful approach, songs like “Sleepless Evil,” “Black Flames March” and “All That May Bleed” describe the act of sacrifice and deliver the dark impurity that their fans can depend on. Watain explore sounds of Bathory and Dissection and emphasize on their lyrical content. In “They Rode On,” lead vocalist Erik Danielsson pounds out the heavy verse, “Say goodbye/To the light/Come twilight/And come dark night.”

The Wild Hunt reflects back on the journey the band has taken for over a decade and where they are at the current stage of their career.

In A Word: Charred