Reviewed: February 2018
Released: 2018, Century Media
Reviewer: Owen Thompson
Watain have tremendous pedigree and have returned with another slice of superlative savage Swedish skullduggery. Trident Wolf Eclipse (their sixth album) continues that fine BM tradition of choosing an album title comprised of three seemingly random words (Dimmu and Belphegor – I’m looking at you!), but that is not a criticism. This is damn fine stuff.
Rhe opus begins with “Nuclear Alchemy” and is instantly recognisable as Watain; they really have honed themselves to a damn fine and sharp sound which is unique to them. A track full of piss and vinegar and vulgar refinement. Next up is the venomous and vital “Sacred Damnation” which is chilling and grim without being un-listenably harsh. The mid-paced and nasty “Teufelsreich” provides a change of pace, before unleashing a terrifying storm which attacks like a blizzard on an almost cellular level.
Listeners who suffer from vertigo might want to avoid “Furor Diabolicus” as it lurches dizzyingly, sending you to a pit of utterly desolate and bitter despair; painfully glorious to listen to. “A Throne Below” is both menacing and destructive, with the band’s dark passion pouring out of the speakers like a flood. The expert pacing is key to the albums flow as is evidenced by “Ultra (Pandemoniac)”, a snarling, feral and possibly rabid beast of a song. Juxtaposing this nicely is “Towards the sanctuary”, a jangling, disorientating maelstrom of macabre maleficence. Album closer reminded me of either of an ancient, crumbling temple or the shack from “The Evil Dead”; both are dusty and decayed, but filled with the shrill demented choir of the damned.
In many ways, the tracks on “Trident Wolf Eclipse” blend together so well that they sound like one long epic track. The use of lead guitar motifs is nothing short of spectacular. These elements mesh together in such a way that this is Watain’s finest album since “Casus Luciferi”. An early contender for ‘album of the year’!