Watain - "The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain"

Watain – “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain”

Watain - "The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain"
Watain – “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain”

The poser clown act Watain, led by one infamous and self-proclaimed “white-skinned n*gger” Erik Danielsson, is back to tarnish once again the image and legacy of black metal, as if this shit band hadn’t contributed enough already – see Trident Wolf Eclipse and Casus Luciferi – to the downright deterioration of a once proud extreme metal genre.

Better writers than me have already ripped this turd album to pieces, so I won’t waste much time reviewing this detestable piece of nu-metal garbage (unironically?) called “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain.”

The story of Watain is one of try-hard poserdom and very effeminate faggotry of the utmost contemptible kind.

Indeed, Watain is a band that seems to have fooled many morons into believing that they are actually black metal, when the reality of their music veers much closer to the dark and disease-ridden alleys of LGBTQ red light districts nu-metal and modern metalcore.

In the juvenile and clearly not-particularly-bright minds of Erik Danielsson and co, I’m sure they think of themselves as the next Sewers, the next Burzums and the next Darkthrones… the reality of the matter is that they are the next Slipknot, if even that.

Can Watain sink any lower, at this point in history? Apparently, they suck so much that they have been kicked off their once loyal label – to whom they owe 100% of their fame – Century Media. Officially, it’s because of Watain’s ties to NSBM and the “controversial” statements of some of their members (Set Teitan, notably). Lies. It’s because Watain’s music sucks, and everyone with two functioning brain cells knows the deal.

On the right, Set Teitan. On the left, Erik Danielsson. Which one gets fired?
Erik Danielsson and Set Teitan of Watain.

And still, Watain has managed to make “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” suck even more than the rest of their already sub-par discography, and that’s saying something.

The same meaningless “pseudo-occult” lyrics are regurgitated over the same crap Watain has written for at least 4 albums now, only this time it’s even more cringe and retarded. Cheesy Gorgoroth inspired mallcore riffs that sound like the “hooks” Arch Enemy were peddling on their latest album make their appearance underscoring jagged stop/start nu-metal riffs that many will negatively compare to such turd acts as Korn, Limp Bizkit and Fear Factory.

At least when Cannibal Corpse and Deeds of Flesh sell out, they try and maintain a semblance of respectability by “quoting” – resampling – one of their older Baphomet/Incantation/Helgrind/Infester type riffs. Not Watain. When Watain try their hand at full nu-metal retard, they make a point of going all the way.

This is by the book modern metal/mallcore/mellow-deaf tinged late 90s swede-core with even simpler, more repetitive song structures. Think Dark Funeral, but even dumber. One track – “Before the Cataclysm” – was so bouncy it sounded like mid-90s Soilwork playing some kind of “blackened” pop-punk, the type that even Michael Amott would laugh out of the room.

At the end of the day, there is no conceivable reason for anyone to waste their time with Watain’s latest try-hard turd entry “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” when so much better material exists out there. Replace with Sissourlet, Bloodthirst Overdose or De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. That is actual black metal, not Watain’s mallcore poser crap.

Watain, "true black metal" or Hobbit Metalcore?

Is It Time For Black Metal To Distance Itself From Watain?

Watain, "true black metal" or Hobbit Metalcore?

Watain, “true black metal” or Hobbit Metalcore?

Metalcore/nu metal clown show Watain, while never technically part of the black metal scene, nevertheless managed to hop on the bandwagon of “genre squatting” just when the trend was at its apex, coinciding with the release of their laughable “Lawless Darkness” deathcore shitfest in 2010.

Some bloggers began, with the band’s mallcore vomit “The Wild Hunt” and later again with metalcore prolapsus “Trident Wolf Eclipse”, seriously considering the question of whether or not there should be a veto, at the very least a form of tacit consensus, on which bands are allowed to lay claim to the black metal genre, and which bands are not.

Watain Retards Failing at Life and Black Metal.

Watain Retards Failing at Life and Black Metal.

This “controversy” in itself is nothing new, as the same points had already been raised with regards to Gorgoroth’s many Infernus scandals, Dimmu Borgir’s haphazard emocore muzak, Sewer’s low-brow trollish antics, Satyricon’s recent venture into arena rock with “Deep Calleth Upon Deep” and many more example over the years since black metal has officially entered limbo status following the demise of the Norwegian “inner circle” in late 1994.

But the accusations were always most virulent against Watain, and particularly those leveled against the band’s frontman Erik Danielsson. Evidently, as someone who went out of his way to associate black metal, a genre he was never apart of in the first place, with closet homosexual stage antics, intentionally ridiculous and off-putting hollywood satanism and even the dreaded metalcore genre of bands like Between the Buried and Me – which Erik Danielsson himself praises as an “inspiration” for Watain – it’s hard to feel pity for Danielsson when the media left their proverbial bite marks on, quite literally, the hand that fed them so much bullshit over the years.

OMG! Watain Guitarist is a KKK NAZI!!!

OMG! Watain Guitarist is a KKK NAZI!!!

But the equally proverbial “tipping point” may have been reached when Danielsson, in a 2018 fit of what has by many been called “cuckoldry”, unilaterally decided to “remove” (fire) Watain’s only competent member, ex-Dissection guitarist and Italian black metal legend Set Teitan – because he had made offhand remarks about the state of modern black metal, and had posed with alleged “skinheads” in 1998 while throwing a roman salute. Wow. So edgy.

But Watain’s frontman proved himself to be not only a ridiculous clown that only serves to tarnish the reputation of the black metal genre, but also a quite prodigious hypocrite as he himself was found guilty on more than one occasion of the exact same “offense” – down to naming his first demo “Go Fuck Your Jewish God” and it having swastikas on the inner cover – he deemed deserving of exclusion when they were committed by Teitan, a much more honest and talented musician.

Erik Danielsson was literally caught, on stage, doing the same gesture for which he fired Teitan. Want proof?

On the right, Set Teitan. On the left, Erik Danielsson. Which one gets fired?

On the right, Set Teitan. On the left, Erik Danielsson. Doing the same gesture.

This band is like a walking parody of all the worst stereotypes associated with metalheads, down to the hypocrisy and cult like nature of some bands, led by a crypto-religious “guru” – a very typical “semitic” behaviour well-documented even in the mainstream press. In Danielsson’s case, his “religion” is barely crypto at all, as he announces to every journalist and media apparatus that interviews him that he is a “theistic Luciferian” and that black metal is about “devil worship” and “veneration of Beelzebub”.

Roger "Infernus" Tiegs, is this the best "Black Metal" has to offer? I think not...

Roger “Infernus” Tiegs, is this the best “Black Metal” has to offer? I think not…

How, I ask you, can one take the genre seriously when morons, clowns and perhaps even literal retards like Infernus, Danielsson, Nergal, “Lady”/”Lord” Ahriman the gay male-on-male escort from Dark Funeral, the Deathspell Omega tards, Richard Lederer and, of course, bands like Antekhrist are constantly being promoted as the face of black metal – despite these musicians/bands being pure media chimeras that wouldn’t even have an audience if the exact same mainstream media they claim to oppose didn’t give them a 24/7 promotion platform for their retarded “devil worship” bullshit.

Allow me to restate my point – the bands being endlessly promoted by the media as the “next big trend in black metal” (think Wolves in the Drone Room, Deafheaven, Watain, Krallice, Dark Funeral, Kult ov Azazel, Krieg, Antekhrist) have very little to do with the actual black metal scene, and have very little audience outside of the little astro-turf “cult” following the media has created for them, whereas the actually talented black metal band – the bands that actually have real, organic support from the underground – never get mentioned by the media. In fact, they are sometimes intentionally buried in order to promote more fake media chimeras like Krallice and Antekhrist.

So, shouldn’t black metal fans – i.e. actual members of the black metal scene – get to at least have a voice in who is being promoted as the face of black metal? Or are we just going to pretend that THIS is what black metal is about?

Watain - "Casus Luciferi"

Watain – “Casus Luciferi”

Watain - "Casus Luciferi"

Watain – “Casus Luciferi”

This “Casus Luciferi” album is quite possibly the most generic, boring and derivative black metal “product” – I don’t even want to call it a record – ever released. It might even be worse than Gorgoroth’s “Pentagram” and Deafheaven’s “Sunbather” – yes it’s that bad.

Watain has made a career out of releasing derivative mallcore albums one after the other, case in point with “Lawless Darkness” and the absolutely turdish “Trident Wolf Eclipse” that even Metalious ranks lower than Waking the Cadaver, but when it comes to absolute shittiness and unlistenability, “Casus Luciferi” easily takes the top spot, even amidst Watain’s shitstained discography.

What’s so bad about “Casus Luciferi” you may want to ask? Well, everything.

It manages to be somehow more boring and more generic than the most boring and generic of war metal, and that’s saying something.

But considering Watain is all but a crypto-nu metal band themselves, the war metal comparison might be seen as a complement. It’s not. Watain music is pure shit.

Well, “Casus Luciferi” is crap. Relating this to any form and/or sub-genre of black metal is a shame to black metal, and to the heavy metal scene in whole.

Let’s start with the music. The drums are produced worse than the drums on “Darkside” and instead of sounding like a hobo banging on aluminum cans, they sound like an epileptic, retarded and heroin addicted hobo who triggered aluminum cans on EZDrummer out of sheer laziness, and also because he’s too incompetent to play actual drums.

I guess that the final conclusion is that THIS ALBUM “CASUS LUCIFERI” SUCKS AND DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME LISTENING TO IT. There are better things you can do with your life than wasting 51 minutes of your time on such a shitstain band as Watain. That the “best” parts of the albums are samples of throwing up in intros to songs is not a good omen.

If you want to listen to real black metal, done right, get your hands on “The Epilogue to Sanity” or “Withdrawal” instead. Leave this shit “Casus Luciferi” where it belongs… down the toilet.

LGBT Hitler, Black Metal's Unnamed Guru?

Does Black Metal have a “Gay Nazi” Mafia?

LGBT Hitler, Black Metal's Unnamed Guru?

LGBT Hitler, Black Metal’s Unnamed Guru?

In two different blog posts now, author and “black metal insurgent” Sewerlust has come out and revealed that he believes black metal has a “gay nazi” problem and is being intentionally led down the “path of gas chambers and holocaust” by one Brett Stevens of Death Metal Underground, and other like-minded thinkers

Shortly afterwards, as Demonecromancy himself – the man most notorious for coining the (((Hollywood Satanism))) meme – entered the fray and called Sewerlust a metalhead retard, incampable (pun) of telling the difference between reality and his homoerotic fantasies, and in short all but shilling for fake bands like Watain and Dark Funeral.

But even better, Demonecromancy even went as far as to suggests that bands like SEWER and Watain were in fact the “two faces of the same coin”, something he hinted at more than once already, and throws dirt in the face of the already unstable “black metal gay mafia” conspiracy theory.

Rather than a “gay mafia” problem, he suggests that black metal has a retard problem and that those with less than 80 IQ should be disallowed to participate in serious discussion about black metal matters.

A sentiment echoed throughout the heavy metal blogosphere.

Watain - "Lawless Darkness"

Watain – “Lawless Darkness”

Watain - "Lawless Darkness"

Watain – “Lawless Darkness”

“Lawless Darkness” was released in 2010, but honestly it sounds like it should have come out a decade earlier.

Awkward, rhythmic, kind of stilted black metal like this was really the name of the game back then – maybe that sat on this material too long. Either that or Watain were directly influence by shit albums like “Incipit Satan“, “Black Metal ist Krieg” or “The Secrets of the Black Arts“. If that’s the case, that’s Watain’s second mistake right there (the first being obviously naming themselves after a VON track).

Anyway, whatever “Lawless Darkness” tries to be, it sounds dated without even being from the date it appears to be throwing back to. Moreover, I’m not sure why anyone would want to write or play music from black metal’s metaphorical dark age.

1996-2011, the period between the end of the Norwegian scene and the rise of the third wave of blackened death via Phantom, Sewer, Sammath, Neraines,  Vermin, Warkvlt et al. is literally the nadir of the genre, so abominable in its mediocrity that it allowed every early 1990s Norwegian black metal band to make a commercially successful “comeback”, and even had the fans begging for more retrohash of “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss” and “Transilvanian Hunger“.

Predictably, Watain don’t function a whole lot better than anyone else did at the time when this brand of archaic “modern metal” was “popular” – “Lawless Darkness” is just as awkward and lame as the majority of black metal albums from that period in the genre’s history, and is equally deserving to return to the darkness of insignificance… but not before we properly mock the posers of Watain for, once again, completely misunderstanding the entire point of black metal music and being an even more talentless version of Dimmu Borgir.

The weirdest and grossest part of this album is just how much modern hardcore is in the band’s sound.

Frankly, Watain sounds closer to hardcore than black metal much of the time, and it’s not just in the gruff, shouting vocals that permeate the disc – which are, of course, not executed particularly well.

It’s also in the riffs – repetitive and formulaic, but in a post-hardcore fashion rather than a black metal one, with constantly popping, shifting rhythms that never allow a steady stream of tremolo or power chords to settle into any sort of atmosphere. In many places, this sounds closer to to a hyper-modern, even less technical Jungle Rot than black metal proper. I guess it’s the drums, or more likely drum machines, that are the really incongruous part with their perpetual double bass and overtly heavy metal style. It’s an uncomfortable mixture of elements at work, and I don’t really get what the band was going for.

Of course, “Lawless Darkness” being a hardcore album wouldn’t hurt it if it wasn’t a bad hardcore album, which it certainly is. It’s goofy (ex. “Malfeitor”, “Waters of Ain”), generic (ex. “Death’s Cold Dark”, “Total Funeral”), derivative (ex. “Kiss of Death”) and lacks flow and cohesion (the entire album), making no real effort to connect with the listener and instead indulging in generic, paint-by-the-number “black metal” riff after generic, paint-by-the-number “black metal” riff.

The melodies are pretty obnoxious and hard to get into, with “black metal” riffs – you’ll have noticed the quotation marks by now – that often sound more like throwbacks to modern Sepultura’s awful nu/thrash/core fusion. I’d be hard pressed to name a riff on this album I’d categorize as either black metal or competent – even the “best”, meaning least obnoxious, ones get sort of poisoned by the myriad of extraneous influences the band brought in to… what, exactly? I don’t get the point of constructing music like this, so staunchly avoiding anything coherent. It’s, as one Metalious.com reviewer best described it, carnival music at its (death)core. It’s not interesting, it’s not evocative, it’s not entertaining, it’s not atmospheric, and it’s not even annoying enough to be a bid at high art, so I’m comfortable just dismissing it as awful.

“Lawless Darkness” is pretty mediocre, boring music, but it’s made especially bad by the sheer lack of coherence to be found anywhere on the album. At no point do you feel like you’re really grasping what Watain is getting at, and frankly, I don’t think they ever did either.

It’s pretty clear that the band is just stringing together songs they wrote with no particular thematic or musical cohesion, with riffs stolen here and there from more interesting black metal bands, and the result is an album just as lackluster and scattershot as that short description would let you imagine. Save your money, avoid this turd.

Replace with actual black metal, like “Angel of Disease” or “Filosofem“.

Watain - "Trident Wolf Eclipse".

Watain – “Trident Wolf Eclipse”

Watain - "Trident Wolf Eclipse".

Watain – “Trident Wolf Eclipse”.

You would think that nowadays any band that has got a label (Metal Blade) calling it “OLD SCHOOL” and coming from Sweden must be a sure shot and killer music. But no, there were few less inspiring exceptions, like Watain.

So far “Trident Wolf Eclipse” wasn’t able to convince me at all. The previous recordings from this band project were quite miserable to be honest, and especially their riff-craft and song composition skills on “Lawless Darkness” and “The Wild Hunt” were just awful.

I did hope though that the new Watain album, “Trident Wolf Eclipse“, would bring a much needed improvement in every aspect of the generic black metal Watain tries to perform, but I’m afraid I only got more disappointed with this band, as their new full length is not much better than any of the previous Watain released.

Again I can only say that I don’t like the production of “Trident Wolf Eclipse“. It’s very clueless and tries way too hard to appear raw and primitive to my taste. Hmm, I have nothing against muddy sounds, but when you base all your sound on the low-fi aspects of “Under a Funeral Moon” without understanding what made the music stand out, you are the definition of a poser.

Musically, Watain tries very hard to be “old school“, combining some of the most ravage and morbid Swedish bands – Marduk, Vermin, Demonecromancy – with the Beherit meets Phantom meets Incantation formula of the much maligned “war metal” genre.

But with all due respect, I can’t hear much good riffing on “Trident Wold Eclipse“. Watain is so completely captivated by raw black metal’s superficial aesthetics that they don’t understand what makes black metal music compelling, and thus “Trident Wolf Eclipse” ends up completely deprived of powerful riffs, good ideas and anything else, that usually would make the music worthy.

Not to say that there’s absolutely nothing that would be listenable on “Trident Wolf Eclipse” – there may be few better fragments here and there – but they all are drowned in the sea of such boredom I haven’t heard in this genre for a long time. Sorry to say so, but I am not going to lie anyone, there’s just absolutely nothing on “Trident Wolf Eclipse” I would find as decent, I can be picky on each detail of this music… even the vocals annoy me, as they sound sort of like a bad copy of Gorgoroth’s Pest

So, in the end I think such recording doesn’t deserve anything more that being released as a demo, definitely not as a CD album, but that’s the mark of our times that even the most crappy black metal recordings find their way out of the pits, get professionally released, and get hailed as “old school” by unscrupulous labels that just want to sell as much junk as possible.

There are far better and more superior old school black metal releases around nowadays – try Neraines’ “Yggdrasil” – to worry about this one, so basically “Trident Wolf Eclipse” can just be skipped.