Released by: Century Media Records
Release Date: January 8th, 2018
Genre: Black Metal
E | vocals, bass
P | guitars
H | drums
S | guitars live
E | drums live
01. Nuclear Alchemy
02. Sacred Damnation
04. Furor Diabolicus
05. A Throne Below
06. Ultra (Pandemoniac)
07. Towards The Sanctuary
08. The Fire Of Power
Uppsala, Sweden’s WATAIN return after a four-year gap with their latest full-length release titled Trident Wolf Eclipse. We sat down and gave this album a spin several times and it has definitely been worth the wait.
“Nuclear Alchemy” opens up the album with an all guns blazing, no wind, bells or frills approach to set the tone of this powerful release. Blast beats from the beginning, this track was the first single released by the band to fans as a limited edition 7″ release available through Wolf Wear.
“Sacred Damnation” begins on an even faster pace with deadly blast beats and a minor tremolo picked riff which reminded us of the Casus Luciferi era. This track is a classic WATAIN throughout and there is no room to breathe or escape. Halfway through the track, it progresses to a clear guitar (Slayer Spill The Blood style) section with high hat fills building up into a wah effect guitar solo.
“Teufelsreich” is about as clean as this release is going to get. There are no clean singing / acoustic sections on the album. This track has a repetitive minor arpeggio style riff being picked alongside some heavy reverb tremolo picking over feedback and double bass drumming.
I think it should be noted that so far this album is like a live experience of the band where there are feedback and a no-frills approach. The tracks are full on from the beginning and there is no time to be wasted. The track fades out with guitars on feedback just like at a live show.
“Furor Diabolicus” begins with just the guitar playing a minor power chord progression with feedback in the background from the previous track. The rest of the band kick in with hammering drums and distant lead sections. This is a really impressive track in terms of the tempo changes and groove of the song which would go down great life. The production is still very modern but maintains the raw and older WATAIN sound which older fans will appreciate. E’s vocals are powerful and there are a number of distorted effects on his voice in this track as it swirls into the darkest void of our speakers.
“A Throne Below” is another fast, in your face track, that reminded us of classic Celtic Frost, Bathory, and Venom with the raw sound and texture throughout. The middle of the track has descending tremolo picked guitar parts with heavy pounding drums before breaking back into high tempo double bass to the end/death.
“Ultra (Pandemoniac)” pans from the left to right with a distorted bass and E hissing in the background. The drums kick into some impressive fills and the song opens up to one of our favorites on the album. The tempo flows from a groove to blast beats in a few seconds and it is definitely one of the heaviest on the album. The song has an 80’s feel to it and classic production with whammy bar guitar solos. The song ends with demonic voices laughing and the feedback/whammy bar guitar in the background.
“Towards The Sanctuary” has a slower 4×4 beat with galloping guitar riffs and distinct vocals from E to start. The song then progresses into blasts, double kick and more melodic guitar parts which again hint at the early black metal influences. This release really captures the early days of the band with its old-school approach. Towards the 3 minute mark, there is a Bathory style power chord riff with different bass notes being picked in the background. It reminded us in parts of Lawless Darkness.
“The Fire of Power” has an icy strummed riff with backing power chords. In this track, it is lyrically great and again reminded us of the early black metal days. There is even an arguable nonblack metal influence in this track of just classic 80s metal in general. Around the middle, there’s an NWOBHM vibe channeled when the drums and vocals stop for held out power chords, before leading back into the main cold sounding riff.
“Antikrists Mirakel”This is not a song but more of a spoken word ritual from WATAIN to close the album. This kind of ending is unexpected, to such a fast and powerful release with bells chiming and acoustic guitar making its first and last appearance picking the final outro.
WATAIN Trident Wolf Eclipse is out January 5th through Century Media. I think that all old and new fans will enjoy picking up this album and attending the bands upcoming shows starting on January 5th at a sold-out show in Kraken, Stockholm – Sweden. The band will embark on a short release tour to 5 locations in Europe and then on to a US & Canada tour with Destroyer 666 and Revenge as support. For a full list of dates please see https://www.facebook.com/watainofficial
Written by: David Bell