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Sometimes there are albums where you just click the first note and you know right away that all expectations are more than fulfilled. WATAIN’s new epic “The Agony and Ecstasy Of Watain” falls exactly into this category, there’s no need to beat around the bush. The band also doesn’t hesitate when they start with “Ecstasies In The Night” as if there’s no tomorrow and soundly thrills the listener in the legendary era of black metal during the ’90s.

Only time will tell if “The Agony And Ecstasy Of Watain” is the band’s best album, but the band has certainly never looked better than that. Recorded live for the first time by the entire crew, longtime producer Tore Stjerna provided an incredibly clear sound while at the same time perfectly capturing the core strength of the WATAIN show. No matter what crazy frenzy the range falls into, the sound always remains finely contrasted, making the smallest of subtle details audible. No matter if it’s crazy guitar sounds, sparkling tones, loud beats or great melodies, “The Agony and Ecstasy Of Watain” remains transparent and easy despite all the musical intricacies, because even the smallest detail never disappears in a thunderstorm of sound thanks to detailed production .

WATAIN isn’t one of those congestion-increasing businesses, and that’s true for gigs and albums alike. Accordingly, WATAIN always seems to be very focused, this time the group has managed to pull together all aspects of their previous work and offer 10 tracks that are among the best in the band’s history. For me, WATAIN’s latest saga is without a doubt one of the best black metal albums of this millennium.

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