The Wild Hunt is Watain’s fifth full length (their first album on major Century Media, by the way), lasting for sixty three minutes. Again the whole was mixed by Tore Stjerna at his famous Necromorbus Studio (Svartsyn, Ofermod, Zombiefication, Desultory, Merrimack and many more) and concretised by the experienced trio Pelle ‘P’ Forsberg (g), Håkan ‘H’ Jonsson (d) and Karl Erik ‘E’ Danielsson (v, b, g), with assistance of some session musicians.
It is pretty much the same material as before, yet probably little more diverse and, at the same time, more accessible (read: quasi-catchy). The Wild Hunt is a wild and hunting, energetic and dynamic Black-assault, with a clear tradition in the Swedish scene (read: sound and song writing, performance and spirit), and despite the great tracks, it is not that renewing at all anymore. …not totally sufficing nowadays, I’m afraid. The album comes with several heights, but unfortunately with some heard-it-before moments as well; but still their tribute to the likes of, let’s say, Marduk, Dissection, The Black, Throne Of Ahaz, Dark Funeral, Setherial and even early Bathory, caresses my darkkksoundz-loving ear drums.
But then again, what about They Rode On, for example? A Pop-Rock ballad that makes me nauseous?... And this kind of nonsense goes on during the second half of the album. The title track itself, too, with its pathetic would-be catchiness - what’s the story behind it? Thanks, but certainly no thanks!
Certainly not Watain’s best attempt to date, but at least when it comes to the first part of the album, it’s more than ‘just acceptable’ for sure; the second half, on the contrary…