Lawless Darkness is the fourth full album from the Swedish band Watain. This newest addition proves what I have suspected since the second one - Casus Luciferi from 2003: That from a humble start as a side project it is mutating into a band with its very own sound and definite style.
Watains growler/bass-player Erik Danielsson, as well as live guitarist Set Teitan also played in Dissection (dissolved 2006, R.I.P. Jon), and from the beginning the influence this had on Watain was profound. As time and numerous singles and albums has evolved, though, so has the Dissection elements. You can still hear them - the "cold" tuning of the strings, the long, almost meditative melodic parts that interweaws with the controlled chaos of the old Scandinavian black metal style, etc. - but they have been improved by a sort of sorrowful maturity. The string-work is more than excellent for black metal, the vocals suits the music perfectly (without dominating it) and the drums are actually played like instruments, not like a punching bag.
This is indeed a solid album. It pushes the genre forward with honourable dedication, and is one of the most intricate examples of merging old and new school. In short: It's bloody brilliant. Buy it!
Note: The reviewer received a digital version of the mid-sized digipack. The Death SS cover song is not included in the normal jewelcase.