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HARDWARES

WATAIN

The Wild Hunt

(Century Media)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 8.0

If, while listening to The Wild Hunt, visions of DISSECTION’s monumental Storm Of The Light’s Bane flood through your forest/ice obsessed mind, you’re not alone. More than any record in WATAIN’s catalogue, The Wild Hunt is informed by the work of deceased convicted felon Jon Nodtveidt, a comparison Watain probably will not shy away from and, instead, will embrace, with all the anti-cosmic implications of that statement. Watain has an unabashed flair for the dramatic and that sense of burning-church-spire-by-dusk-twilight has no doubt manifested itself here, as Watain has fostered muses as varied as melancholy, rage, vividness, and, unexpectedly, nostalgia. “Nostalgia,” you ask? “Yes, nostalgia,” we respond, because The Wild Hunt acts as Watain’s most expansive record of its career, the album a testament to black-metal-ist-krieg! but also an effective history lesson on the importance of BATHORY, thrash, PINK FLOYD-inspired prog à la ENSLAVED, ‘80s heavy metal and, shockingly, classic rock, as power ballad (!) ‘They Rode On’ attests -- to characterize the track as a departure would be a monumental understatement. And while the rest of The Wild Hunt doesn’t go to the idyllic, lighters-in-the-air places of ‘They Rode On’, it’s still a hallucination-upon-hallucination record, one that is aided and abetted by the VOIVOD-esque production that favours big snare and even bigger toms, this album clearly meant as some of sort of masterpiece of artistic expression which, of course, is an unrealistic benchmark. What is entirely clear, however, is that Watain, more than ever before, is expressing itself with grandiose visions that aim directly at shattering any and all preconceptions about this band and its art.



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