Sunday, December 30, 2012

Watain - Go Fuck Your Jewish God (1998)

Go Fuck Your Jewish God is the first demo from Watain, released in 1998, not long after the band formed. It is quite evident, from this recording, that the band had not yet found their style. The Mayhem and Dissection influences can be heard, though it seems as if there was also a strong Darkthrone vibe as well. The result is sort of a generic mixture that hardly goes anywhere. Saying that this is a very mediocre release would be a generous compliment.

The production is horrible, even for a Black Metal demo. At times, it is comparable to some of the LLN releases, sounding as if the band was playing in a different room from the recording equipment. There is a distant and muffled quality to much of the demo, and it lacks a lot of clarity. The guitar melodies do manage to cut through and to be a bit more audible, at times, but it is all still somewhat scrambled. Occasionally, it even seems like the drums disappear altogether. That is probably a good thing, as the drumming is a bit overactive at certain points, such as "The Mightiest of Maledictions". The volume goes up and down at various points, which is also annoying and distracting.

As for the material itself, there is really nothing special going on here. The songwriting is not all that solid, as one might expect from a group of teenagers making their first attempt at Black Metal. Though there are some decent riffs, here and there, the overall arrangements are haphazard and lack consistency. "When Stars No More Shine" is a good example, as the main tremolo riff is pretty good but the thrash part in the middle is about as generic and out of place as it gets. "On Horns Impaled" sounds much more inspired by Dissection in this form as opposed to the version on the full-length. In the case of the cover of Darkthrone's "Unholy Black Metal", it is really amazing how badly they ruined this song. It should have been rather simple to pull off, yet it sounds like complete trash. The vocals are boring and nothing compared to what they would be like on Rabid Death's Curse. Erik utilizes some deeper vocals, from time to time, that don't fit in at all.

If Watain had disappeared after this demo, no one would have ever heard of them. This is not the type of recording that would have left people wanting more and being disappointed that the band had vanished into obscurity. As a stand-alone release, Go Fuck Your Jewish God is entirely without value. This is only interesting due to the fact that Watain continued on and actually made some good albums, so people naturally want to go back and see where it all began. If you are seeking something with real merit, skip this. It is not worth the time.