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on 1 May 2012
If a gun was put to my head and I was forced to choose album to listen to for the rest of my existence, Lawless Darkness would be it. Darkly beautiful, brash and fantastical, it has everything you could possibly want from a Black Metal album.

Erik Danielsson is lyrical genius. His writings conjure up all sorts of disturbing imagery that seem to infuse so naturally with the music, it's sometimes hard to believe what you're feeling. While I understand that music is primarily something we hear, the goosebumps I get when I hear lyrics such as:..

"A lawless realm where chaos breeds and howls most foul asound.
So stay away, ye who is of God
This is enemy ground."

.. is just so overpowering, I may feel the need to sit down.

It's an ambitious album to say the least, without a single song under 5 minutes, and the total length an astounding 73 minutes long. Despite the length, listening to the Lawless Darkness in a single sitting is without doubt the only way I could suggest listening to it. For a Black Metal album, it is also a very melodic, atmospheric piece that in some way creates a weirdly serene ambience. In most of the songs, a darkly progressive aspect will form, bringing in haunting guitar pieces that echo and ring throughout the album. Combine this, with the typical furious drumming and guitar work, and the hideous screeches that are always present in Black Metal, and you'll find something entirely different. Something that is beautiful, heavy, atmospheric and wonderful, for all the right reasons and many more.

While the entire album is amazing, I feel I should give a special mention to my favourite songs. Malfeitor, Reaping Death, Wolves Curse, Total Funeral and Waters of Ain are my personal favourites, but as I said, every track is an absolute whopper.

In a last ditch effort to convince you to get this masterpiece, if anything happened to the disc I currently own, in a heartbeat and without a single backwards glance, I would purchase it again... and again.
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on 26 November 2015
The only thing I can find to complain about with this album is that it's too short! Powerful and epic black metal with some killer groove. I can't stop listening to this at the moment. Without a doubt my favourite of their works so far.
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on 26 July 2010
this is the first watain album i have bought and i have to say, i really wish i'd heard them before now. after reading really good reviews in metal hammer and terrorizer i thought i'd give them a go. when i first heard it i thought "this is alright, not too bad", as you would guess i hadn't paid enough attention to the album. one year later and i have to say that i kept listening to it and with each listen i began realize what i'd bought, one of the best albums of last year, of any metal genre, not just black metal. yes the album is catchy in places, yes it has a really good clear sound, and yes it has guitar solos, but i don't care if that doesn't make it black metal, this album is amazing and i love it.

on the strength of this album i have quickly bought sworn the dark and casus luciferi, both of which are really good as well and worth buying, just give them a fair few listens before making your opinion final.
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on 26 May 2010
This is the closest you will ever get to Dissection. It is a masterpiece. If you love Dissection, Necrophobic etc you will love this. 'Nuff said.
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on 22 June 2010
Let's get one thing straight: I love Watain's other works. They are also quite spectacular live. However, the misinformation perpretrated by the music press around this release is quite enraging (Terrorizer in particular really blotted its copybook on this one). Sworn to the Dark is a peerless piece of semi-mainstream melodic black metal which manages tro be accessible while retaining much of what makes the genre such a potent form. My big beef with the new album is its obvious massive lurch for commercial success. Don't get me wrong, I have no objection to a black metal band making money, however when the populist urge has a significant and direct effect on the creative process...well, that's not really what black metal's about is it? Black metal is a form which is about purity of vision, evoking something in the listener and above all having something to say, whether or not you as a listener agree with it. I respect all artists who have the integrity to create without the need to adulterate their output in the name of commercial success (David Tibet / Current 93, Michael Gira and others deserve much credit there). This is where Lawless Darkness fails and fails extremely badly. Is it good music? Yes. Is it something more, does it evoke an atmopshere of dark ceremony like SttD and earlier albums did? Absolutely not. The worst transgression of all is the presence of numerous elaborate guitar solos which almost ruin even the better tracks. This is the musical equivalent of Monet painting a picture and then scribbling all over it in red crayon. This kind of egotistical trad-metal nonsense has no place on a good black metal record. The cover of Chains of Death is gob-smackingly idiotic (no doubt the original song is too, but in that case it should not have been covered). Has black metal been reborn on this album? Only if you define reborn as the bastard offspring of the worst excesses of power metal with formerly excellent melodic black metal. This album marks the certain slide of Watain towards homogeneity with other metal acts, as can be seen in their current live performance. No doubt they'll be making many bellicose statements about being 'true' to the cause and acting ever so evil but this output and recent Hellfest performance simply does not stand up to analysis. Watain WERE a great black metal band...with this shift in direction we have an entertaining metal act and no more. If you need an integrity fix go listen to Ruins of Beverast instead. Watain should go on hiatus after this album and really think what they're trying to achieve. If commerce is now so important then perhaps they ought to drop the pretence and make a dignified migration to conventional entertainment a la Behemoth. I could respect them for that, but not this fraud.
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on 20 May 2014
the album takes you far away from reality with its questionable themes - but the music is awesome. Owes a lot to Immortal, but offers a more produced sound
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on 26 October 2010
lawless darkness is true black metal at its finest track ten the waters of ...is amazing 14mins of hell all hail watain
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on 26 May 2010
Im very dubious about this band and their 'ideology'.They have apparently been linked to dog killing and as an animal lover i find this abhorent.Its not something they have denied..And i cant separate personally separate this from the music.Killing dogs is not art.
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