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Review: Watain - Sworn To The Dark
Sworn To The Dark

Label: Season of Mist
Year released: 2007
Duration: 57:42
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: May 28, 2007
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 3.88/5 (77.55%) (49 Votes)

Watain get a lot of good press, and they are one of the few Swedish Black Metal bands who get any cred at all in the underground. In the opinion of many, this band can do no wrong, and so I expect a certain amount of roasting for thinking they are overrated. This band invites a lot of comparisons to elders of the scene like Dissection or Bathory, but I think that's a bit much.

Watain play a very heavy stripe of BM that is well-produced without sounding too slick, and they have a pretty good guitar tone, even if it is a bit tame for my taste. They write pretty good songs, and have a seriously evil attitude, but I don't see what separates this band that much from other 'modern' bands like 1349 or Deathspell Omega – two other bands I find highly touted but ultimately not so great. Now don't get me wrong, this is a good album after all, but if you are expecting some epochal 'savior of Black Metal' disc you will be let down. Watain keep a lot of dynamic going, and they mix up the speed with some slower parts and some shredding melodic leads which are somewhat reminiscent of Dissection, but ultimately their songwriting is not quite as good as they would like it to be. "The Serpent's Chalice" and "Stellarvore" are cool slices of modern Black Metal, but underneath it all, Watain are far too conventional to be really great. If Black Metal orthodoxy is your thing, then this album will be too. Watain do their Black Metal very well, they just aren't taking it anywhere.

More about Watain...
Review: Casus Luciferi (reviewed by Chaossphere)
Review: Die in Fire - Live in Hell (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Lawless Darkness (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Wild Hunt (reviewed by Edward T. Head)
Review: Trident Wolf Eclipse (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with E. Danielsson on May 23, 2004 (Interviewed by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale))
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