It is a fine line to walk between tradition and evolution, one that is judged even more harshly amongst stubborn black metal elitists. Watain appear to see this line clearly and not simply walk it with nary a fault, but make one hell of a show of it with Trident Wolf Eclipse, a record that takes the sinister diabolism of Watain and drenches it in diesel fuel.
Throughout Trident Wolf Eclipse, there is a notable ebb and flow to the dominant character of each song. Tracks like "Nuclear Alchemy" and "Furor Diabolicus" are borne out of raging fire, sounding more like speed metal onslaughts less concerned with chilling the blood than tearing your face off. "A Throne Below" and "Teufelsreich" bring things back to a more traditional black metal sound rooted in atmosphere, but at times suffer from Mayhem-clone syndrome.
The sonic attack of Watain is punishing, as expected, but finds ways to surprise, skirting genre expectations to deliver a scathing mark, as in "Ultra (Pandemoniac)," which trades in blast beats for one bordering on groove. Erik Danielsson uses his voice to full effect, utilizing the timing of his delivery so that it serves as an auxiliary to the rhythm section, heightening the power of the overall music.
All things considered, Watain succeed in crafting a two-faced creature for those seeking to bang their heads or brood in nihilistic contemplation. (Century Media)