Watain - The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain (2022)


With every release, Watain manages to further refine their craft to be more incisive, sinister, and piercing, and “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” perfectly reflects this. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of bone-chilling music, this release blends aggression with atmosphere and musicality, to create some of the foulest and most oppressive Black Metal anthems to date.

Opening with the vicious “Ecstasies in Night Infinite”, the listener is quickly blasted with the band’s ravaging guitar work alongside Erik Danielsson’s evil snarl. This opener has a certain retro Dissection-like vibe that sets the tone for the release. We particularly love how elegant melody is infused into the band’s music on tracks like “The Howling”, “Black Cunt”, and “Serimosa”, that still have that razor sharp BM edge, but sound different than most bands.

For those looking for commanding and powerful pieces, “Leper’s Grace” and its onslaughts, alongside the dramatic “Before the Cataclysm” deliver very imposing guitar work alongside pulsating bass guitar lines. Our personal favorite track in this release has to be the piercing “We Remain”, a very mystical song that features Farida Lemouchi (ex-The Devil’s Blood) on guest vocals, creating a very eerie and enigmatic atmosphere alongside some intoxicating guitar leads.

Closing strongly with the violent “Funeral Winter” and the oppressive “Septentrion”, Watain has managed to one up themselves and deliver a highly incisive and effective release with “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain”. Far from linear, this release explores the depths of the occult through poignant lyrics and excellent musicality. If you are a fan of forward-thinking Black Metal with a mixture of harshness and melody, this is one release you can’t afford to miss.

Band: Watain Album: The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: April 29th, 2022

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 98/100

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