Genre: Black Metal
Country: Sweden
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year: 2022

Notorious Swedish black metal collective Watain is celebrating once again Anti-Cosmic Satanism, Luciferianism, Chaos-Gnosticism, Death Worship and Darkness with its 7th full length studio album, «The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain». The album arrived in the proper date as it commemorates to Walpurgis Night when April moves aside for the month of May and bonfires will light up the night sky. Watain is a band that uses often symbolism and this album had to be released as a humble offering to Devilgod along with all their fans that mostly are men and women ready to embrace their ideology and savagery. «The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain» goes along with the same pathway that the Swedes have been following all these years. Straightforward compositions in the veins of Dissection, Mercyful Fate, Emperor, Venom and Norrköping cult heroes Ofermod, somewhere in between black and death metal with raw, violent growls, fast-picked guitars with catchy staccato and melodic riffs and pummeling aggressive drums full of blast beats. Yet they delivered 10 songs that don’t lack any of the band’s hostile nature that has brilliantly left space for atmosphere to enrich them, with measuring tempo and challenging their limits as long as their musical horizons. Watain’s nucleus or evil trio formed of P. Forsberg, E. Danielsson, and H. Jonsson, Watain are joined this time in the studio by A. Lillo, H. Eriksson, and E. Forcas. There’s a perfect chemistry among these 6 guys and this is something that is audible loud and clear every time the stylus encounters it as the LP spins. The balance between frantic and tempered pace is the factor that makes the material to shine. «The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain» is almost excellent. But it is the dark aura that makes it more accessible for the masses, the variety of rhythm speed and the coexistence of slower moments (or the mid-paced groovy parts) with the familiar territory of frenetic tempo that creates this perfect result. Please check immediately «We Remain» where Farida Lemouchi (ex-The Devil’s Blood and now in Molassess) lends her melodic vocals to the song along with Bengt Gottfrid Åhman (ex-In Solitude now in No Future), the 7-minute long epic “Before The Cataclysm” one of the greatest songs Watain have wrote in the last decade, the catchy «Serimosa», the fast as a shark opener «Ecstasies in Night Infinity», the furious single «The Howling», the Dissection inspired blistering “Leper’s Grace” and the excellent closer “Septentrion”. «The Agony & Ecstasy Of Watain» is an album that can stand close to «Casus Luciferi» or «Lawless Darkness» without fearing their shadow will overcome it.