If, like me, you learned about this band by listening to their previous album “The Wild Hunt” (2013) first, you would have thought that their anticipated new album would sound like a mixture of black metal and progressive/doom metal, right?
Well, I’m sorry to say; this is not the case with “Trident Wolf Eclipse“(2018). In fact, this sixth effort of WATAIN is a return to the traditional and aggressive black metal style of their earlier albums like, the now considered classic, Casus Luciferi (2003).
From the beginning of the first song, “Nuclear alchemy”, which is also the first single of the album, the listener is bombarded with blast beats and back-to-the-roots black metal guitar riffing and that’s how it mostly goes for the rest of the thirty four minutes. There are only a few slower, groovier parts that caught my attention; like in the second half of “A Throne Below” that has a dark classical music feel to it and the eerie clean guitar parts in “The Fire Of Power”. Apart from those, you won’t hear any sweet melodies in Trident Wolf Eclipse but numerous, disharmonic, seamless, guitar riffs and thunderous, extremely fast, double bass drumming. These create a sometimes chaotic but powerful feel, in the similar kind of the atmosphere in records of MAYHEM and MARDUK.
“You won’t hear any sweet melodies in Trident Wolf Eclipse but numerous, disharmonic, seamless, guitar riffs.”
Faithful to the DIY approach, the band members did the production and mixing on their own and they have done a good job. The sound of the (many recorded) guitars is trebled, but clear (in a kind of DARKTHRONE-esque way) and every single drum hit can be heard loudly. Pretty much, the epitome of the black metal genre sound. In the meantime the lyrics that are growled above this sound “explore the idea of empowerment and the attainment of force…” as the band’s frontman Erik Danielsson declared, “…through Devilworshiping!” I may add and I believe he wouldn’t disagree with me.
To summarize my review, this is a good record, the music in it is excellently performed and it features some interesting songs (although not innovative) but it is only aimed at the fans of this scene not the majority of the heavy metal fans. I can tell that the fans of the trve (sic) black metal will find it appealing but to me it seems that it lacks the memorable songs that could reach a wider audience. I realize though that the essence of black metal music is not to become popular but to be the rawest and grimiest music there is and I can say that WATAIN’s Trident Wolf Eclipse has achieved this goal. But again, this isn’t their best album, let alone one of the best black metal records ever recorded.