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Sworn to the Dark is the third studio album by Watain and was released on 19 February 2007 on Season of Mist. The album received very positive reviews from music critics and has been described as the band’s “breakthrough” album. The song ‘Legions of the Black Light’ is dedicated to Dissection’s vocalist Jon Nödtveidt who committed suicide in 2006.
The album received positive reviews from music critics. Chad Bowar of About.com called it “a sinister and forbidding dose of black metal”. He went on to say, “You’ll hear the droning guitars and frantic blast beats of black metal, but Watain adds a lot of really catchy and melodic riffs and some cool guitar countermelodies.” He concluded his review saying, “This is a really well crafted album that’s menacing, yet melodic.”
Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic gave the album 4.5 of 5 stars, saying that the band “achieve a perfect balance between Venom or Darkthrone’s outright savagery and straightforward execution, and Emperor’s spiraling arrangements and progressive orientation”. He went on to say that “you’ll definitely find more extreme, misanthropic, or adventurous black metal albums than Sworn to the Dark out there, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one more balanced or – and this may sound contradictory for nasty old black metal – enjoyable”.
Scott Alisoglu of Blabbermouth.net wrote that “Watain is a band concerned not with experimentation or genre-bending, just the creation of ripping black metal songs that burn a hole in the soul and leave a lasting impact on the psyche. It doesn’t get much better.”
The album also made many end-of-year lists, as well. In Terrorizer‘s Secret History of Black Metal (issued in September 2009), it made the number 13 position on their list of “Black Metal’s Top 40 Albums”. The AllMusic stuff named it one of their favourite metal albums of 2007.