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Review: Watain - Lawless Darkness
Lawless Darkness

Label: Season of Mist
Year released: 2010
Duration: 73:32
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: June 21, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Lawless Darkness

Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (63 Votes)

Watain have become increasingly popular over the past few years and, not surprisingly, have started to take a lot of heat from the cult kiddies. Well, this is about to get even worse because there's been a lot of talk about Lawless Darkness recently, and seeing how fucking good this album is, the chatter is not about to stop.

The album clocks in at over 73 minutes. That's something that I regularly frown upon because, let's face it, most albums outstay their welcome past the 45-50 minutes mark. Lawless Darkness is an exception here. It's long but never gets boring and by the time it ends, my reaction is always "over already?"

Lawless Darkness proposes the basic elements of old school Swedish Black Metal – speed, aggression, haunting raspy screeches and demented atmosphere. To that you can add a lot of melody, though this is not what you would call "melodic Black Metal". No, Watain have thrown in those melodic touches without sacrificing the aggression, heaviness and savage approach to the genre that the band is known for. Throughout the album, when you're not treated to heavy, pounding drums and speedy, razor-sharp guitars that slice your wrists through the speakers, you are immersed into a slow, somber, cold, evil and haunting-as-fuck atmosphere, courtesy of the aforementioned melodies. It grabs you and pulls you down south of hell, it's that simple. There's also a fair amount of catchiness here – songs such as "Total Funeral" are guaranteed to get stuck in your head after the first listen, not to mention there's a lot of guitar and air drumming fun to be had. The 14+ minute closer "Waters of Ain" may seem like a lot to take in, but it's over before you know it and just plain awesome from beginning to end.

Keeping the listener's interest up for 73+ minutes is no mean feat, and Watain have achieved that goal with Lawless Darkness. Dark, mystic, heavy, pounding Black Metal – gotta love it. Simply majestic.

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