Sunday, June 21, 2015
Watain : "Tonight We Raise Our Cups and Toast in Angels Blood"
Live albums and cover albums are what artists use to buy them another year before they have to put out something new, so normally I am less than thrilled about them. Here Watain is giving us both at the same time. But I love Watain and if any body is going to put out a live tribute album to Bathory then it should be them. Truth be told I prefer Bathorys viking metal over Quothon's more punk first album and this tends to lean in that direction. They open with "A Fine Day to Die" which they nail as they are considering Bathory is one of their main influences , people have always said Watain sounds like Dissection and I've been listening to both bands for some time and aside from some moments on the last album I haven't really heard it, I have always heard more Bathory who is of course an influence on both bands. They follow it up with the thrashier " The Return of Darkness and Evil" . "The Rite of Darkness" is the first song that I would have rather they chose some else, it sounds to much like Venom. I like Venom as Venom, but when I want to hear Bathory I prefer the viking days.
Then comes" The Reaper" from rawer more punk influenced first album which listening to them rock it here doesn't annoy me as much and there is a very tangible Slayer influence at work, "Show No Mercy" has been out for a year by the time Bathory's first album dropped. One of the best songs on this album is "Enter the Eternal Flame" that carries a powerful and deliberate chug. It becomes even more evident how much common ground Bathory shares with Venom, which I had not really though about until now. If I had to pick a band I would pick Bathory over Venom as there is a wider musical scope being tackled there where Venom was like a punk rock band in spandex with pentagrams. They return to Bathory's beginnings going into the equally raw and barbaric "Sacrifice" that hits like most of the early thrash from this era.It's pretty straight forward. Erik does a convincing job, but it's not out of his comfort zone. Another song from The Return is cranked out in the form of "Born for Burning". This has a more determined chug to it and even though it comes from the time in the 80s where the lines between punk and metal where blurred, this is distinctly metal in that it owes enough to a more classic metal side.
Overall I like this more than I don't and the stuff that I normally don't like from Bathory comes across as having better production on this live album than it did from the studio in 82. I would have liked to have heard more of the viking metal , but it works to scratch a Watain itch and if you are a Bathory fan it's worth checking out as you can imagine when it comes to idol worship they are going to do it right. I'll round it up to an 8.5.