|Review: Watain - Casus Luciferi|
Label: Drakkar Productions
Year released: 2003
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: October 9, 2004
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
Rated 4.4/5 (87.92%) (48 Votes)
Watain are most certainly quite serious about their art. This is obvious just from a glance at the booklet of their second full-length album - a dark, mystical cover depicting horde of rather evil looking demonic angels combined with some writhing serpents on the back opens into pure blackness. Black CD, black traycard, black booklet. They refer to their music as "religious black metal", which essentially means pure devil worship conveyed in an almost biblical fervour. Lyrics are contributed by several different authors, including members of Antaeus, Funeral Mist and Katharsis, as well as Watain's own works. Despite that, the overall message is quite clearly delivered and completely unified. Quite an accomplishment, even though "Puzzles Ov Flesh" retains MKM's rather, er, unique misuse of spelling ;)
As for music, comparisons are often made to countrymen Dissection, who also seem to have adopted a similar ideology of late. Unlike Dissection though, Watain avoid the tendency to fall back on sudden lapses into acoustic tranquillity, instead they keep the intensity level firmly pinned for the entire duration. It's almost sickeningly turbulent, the unrelenting speed occasionally falling into a crushing midpaced lope, only to return to the vortex from whence it came. Vocals are the usual throaty rasp, conveying the elaborate lyrics in a linear drawl over the head-spinning violence of the music.
Despite the overall intensity, Casus Luciferi is an oddly accessible disc, immediately grabbing your attention with a building cresendo of riffs which bursts into the full-speed assault of "Devil's Blood" and not letting up until the final 8-minute title track. Melody and power have rarely been fused so well as on this album, so I won't hesitate to give it full marks and recommend that you track it down before the inevitable 5-year wait for a repress.
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Interview with E. Danielsson on May 23, 2004 (Interviewed by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale))
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