Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Watain - The Essence of Black Purity (1999)

The Essence of Black Purity is the first Watain release after they, apparently, decided to turn the band into something serious and put forth real effort. The prior releases, Go Fuck Your Jewish "God" and Black Metal Sacrifice showed promise, but were mostly just imitations of what had gone before, with production terrible enough to make Transilvanian Hunger sound over-produced. With this E.P., released in 1999, the band made the first step toward creating a legacy of their own.

"On Horns Impaled" starts things out and the first thing that one might notice is that the opening tremolo riff is more easily heard than on the L.P. version. The vocals are also different, being deeper and more gurgled than screamed. The overall production is a little more suitable than what they would achieve on Rabid Death's Curse, as far as allowing the riffs to breathe a little more, but the vocals detract from the atmosphere a bit. Aside from these differences, it's quite similar to the version that ended up on the full-length.

The next song is "The Essence of Black Purity". It begins with a slower riff that possesses a darker feeling, at least in the early moments. The best melody of the song comes about a minute and a half in. It's very memorable and almost seems like something that one would expect on an early Dissection record, or maybe even Cardinal Sin. The vocals aren't a problem on this song, since they never re-recorded it for an album, so there's nothing to compare it to. As such, it's the more enjoyable of the two songs and leaves a fairly good impression.

In the end, The Essence of Black Purity continued the musical progression of Watain, showing that they were beginning to take themselves a bit more seriously and to try harder to find their identity and to create worthwhile music. However, the best was yet to come.