WATAIN IS NFA III
In 2010, nobody in music captured my attention more than Watain frontman Erik Danielsson, tireless interviewee and totally sharp dude. In Q&As for Decibel Magazine and Cosmo Lee’s Invisible Oranges, Danielsson set about the thankless task of contextualizing Watain philosophy and music with a gusto exclusive to the singular, intelligent, and enthusiastic. And he seems to have mastered the correct tone needed for discussions of black metal and Satanism, whereas I rarely can avoid notes of defensiveness and debate, a result of my perception that “evil” music is too often viewed as cartoonish and absurd. And it is. Except when it’s not.
Anyhow, Danielsson’s style contributes to the lasting ear-boner I have for his Watain, as well as my certainty that those fuckers are Not Fucking Around. There’s a belief system at the root of Watain art — love of evil, to paraphrase — and with the aid of good interviewers like Lee and Decibel‘s J. Bennett, Danielsson can expound on its nuances and, in doing so, enhance the already face-fucking Watain listening experience by like exponential measures. Does that make sense? Let’s analogize this: There’s that great scene in Heat where Val Kilmer unhesitantly raises his machine gun to fire at Al Pacino’s troops before they can impede his team’s escape from a ill-fated bank robbery, right? The moment is amazing all by itself, but it rises to mind-fucking awesomeness when taken in the context of the story’s preceding ninety minutes. The viewer ends up totally immersed, screaming “Jesus! Get out of there! Use those bystanders as shields! Destroy those cops! RUN!” Likewise, Watain’s 2010 jam Lawless Darkness is the “what” (the shoot-out); Danielsson’s careful and friendly-seeming discourse is the “why” (the backstory). And just as loudly, I’m cheering for Watain to shoot to kill.
Watain concluded their Lawless Darkness North American tour this week in Toronto. Get Lawless Darkness here.