Watain – The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain

Of all the names that have cropped up in the world of black metal to gain any level of fame, few have become as heralded, ubiquitous, feared, loved, loathed, and everything in between as Watain has become since they crawled out of the blackest of hells just before the turn of the century. It’s since their entrance that they’ve become an undeniable face of modern black metal and what it can be when put in the right hands and handled with the proper amount of fury and blasphemy to really do the sound justice for years to come. After six studio albums over a 25-year offensive, it wouldn’t be any stretch to imagine the modern legend having a dip in any factor of their caustic performances. With their seventh record, however, it’s clear that couldn’t be any further from reality.

It almost feels pointless to talk about the new Watain record as anything other than a grand work of black metal that is to be respected from beginning to end since that has been the norm for this act ever since their debut, but all good things must be heralded for what they are lest they not get the recognition they deserve or, worst-case scenario, outright forgotten. That being said, one could slap another should they even dare insinuate that Watain dropped the ball with their newest creation of undeniable black metal prowess, “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain”. As such a title would suggest, this has to be the most representative album that Watain has put out that embodies all that they are even to the point that it rivals all that they brought forward with the epic “Lawless Darkness” seven years ago with the ungodly power and ultimate black metal prowess on full display for these ten utterly ferocious tracks. This is the exact kind of material that we’ve come to expect from the likes of Watain but no matter how many times we hear it, every new iteration of it never fails to impress as it becomes more obvious with every subsequent release that Watain are true masters of their craft to an almost terrifying degree with everything brought forth for “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” only furthering that trend in every possible way.

The very power at play here is nothing to scoff at as this band continues their vicious streak of being one of the most compelling names in the modern black metal landscape without exception which leaves us wondering with just a single question: how could we have expected anything other than such grandeur? It’s before even hearing a single note from the record that “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” should already have a high standard in your mind with the reality of the record delivering on that promise in no less than exemplary form!

“The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” releases on April 29th via Nuclear Blast!

LISTEN to singles from “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Watain on Facebook here.

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