Even if one is not familiar with Swedish Black Metal band Watain’s music, they have probably heard rumors about their stage shows, which often feature decapitated goat heads on spikes, giant upside down crosses, fire, and generally satanic epicness. The rumors are true, the band is a force to be reckoned with live, but they certainly have more to offer than theatrics. They have been delivering consistently brutal black metal for over 20 years now. One could argue that their new album, Trident Wolf Eclipse is even heavier and dirtier than any of their previous efforts. The band themselves were quoted as saying, “After 20 years of carving our own path through and out of the world, Trident Wolf Eclipse feels like a worthy point of arrival indeed.” It is reminiscent of their older sound on albums like Lawless Darkness, especially in its song structure, and is less polished than albums like Sworn to the Dark. While the sound may be more gritty, it does not mean the production quality is poor. None of the instruments are drowned out in fuzz like some black metal productions. One thing that is noticeable about the sound is that it is more mid-range based while Watain’s sound is usually rich in high end. Songs like Nuclear Alchemy are fast dirges with machine gun blast beats that punch the listener in the face. To compliment this, songs like Sacred Damnation have a moodier “Sworn to the Dark”- era sound. Sacred Damnation features melodic, atmospheric guitars with an extra kick of heaviness. The vocals are the standard Erik Danielsson style, spitting the poisonous putrescence of satanic blasphemy. Later in the album, Towards the Sanctuary is a mid tempo black metal opus that is a cold dark journey filled with excellent guitar work and unique epic atmosphere. Trident Wolf Eclipse was released on January 5 via Century Media Records. After a three year wait, Watain will be returning to North America from February 23 – March 31, 2018 on tour in support of the new album.