Wednesday, July 18, 2018 18:16

Posts Tagged ‘Wolves In The Throne Room’

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM – THRICE WOVEN 2LP (Artemisia Records)

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Wolves In The Throne Room - Thrice WovenScene is obviously the wrong word but Wolves In The Throne Room were a tree-hugging breath of fresh air when they arrived upon it with their ground-breaking debut album, ‘Diadem Of 12 Stars’, way back in 2006. The Weaver brothers came at Black Metal from a decidedly environmentally-conscious perspective and I believe they once dwelled (perhaps still do?) in a self-sustaining farm compound of sorts where they produced their own food and forged an independent existence far removed from the ills of the modern world or something.

Cascadian Black Metal was born and WITTR were the leaders of the nuevo-pagan pack, at one with nature, the lakes, the mountains, the forests and the ancient spirits. As well as their noble, stand-up image, the music was also excellent. It was an exciting departure for the sub-subgenre but, alas, as they (d)evolved and those dreaded female vocals that almost wrecked my head came more and more to the fore, the band’s albums gradually deteriorated and they became almost irrelevant, hitting rock bottom with the fifth full-length whose name escapes me (and I won’t be looking it up because it’s not worth the hassle).

Then ‘Thrice Woven’ dropped this year.

Comprising four lengthy offerings and the fleeting (thankfully, perhaps, as the female singing is back…) ‘Mother Owl, Father Ocean’, these two records are majestic. Everything atmospheric Black Metal can – and should – be. With Steve Von Till of Neurosis on guest vocals ‘The Old Ones Are With Us’ is the obvious centrepiece of the album but, the more I listen to them. the more I enjoy all four of the main tracks.

Comes in a sumptuous gatefold jacket with a beautiful booklet (and lyrics) included, the records spinning at 45rpm for optimal audio playback quality and maximum payback. This will cost you more than most other double LPs due to the limited distribution, but is worth every cent. An astounding exhibit of mystical art that may have been better without the superfluous fourth song, which I am prepared to forgive as I think they may have stuck in it there specifically to piss me off. I refuse to take the bait this time.

Evilometer: 666/666

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM – CELESTIAL LINEAGE (Southern Lord Recordings)

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Yet again they insist on including the dreaded female vocals. Indeed, less than a minute into the fourth WITTR album the horrendous warbling of the fairer sex begins and immediately I feel like throwing myself from a tall building. ‘Cept I’m not on one. I will never for the life of me understand why a band so close to perfection continually fucks their sound up with cheesy, sickening-sweet Evanescence-style rubbish like this. CaThis sounds more like The Gathering than Darkthrone. Call me sexist if you like, but sorry this style of female vocals has no place on Black Metal albums. Wait, don’t call me sexist; it’s a statement of fact. Clean vocals and gothic, female vocals ruin music.

I’ve endured it on successive Wolves In The Throne Room releases now, always believing it was a phase they were going through, a fad, an oversight, a blip …  something they would rectify as they matured and realised what proper Black Metal is. But now I give up. Consistently, this potentially-great band spoils its work with the ridiculous inclusion of totally-out-of-place, spoil-the-fuck-out-of-everything feminine vocals. And I don’t know why the girls are not listed as permanent members cos they’re always there, wrecking things, a constant shadow looming large.

So ‘Thuja Magus Imperium’ is a write-off, as is the fifth track ‘Woodland Cathedral’. ‘Permanent Changes in Consciousness’ and ‘Rainbow Illness’ are nice ambient interludes, which leaves just ‘Subterranean Initiation’, ‘Astral Blood’ and the closing epic ‘Prayer of Transformation’ as proper BM tunes that show how great WITTR could be. Just three good songs, hmmm…

In short, this album is a real disappointment. I always considered them to be a great BM band with some shortcomings; but the penny has dropped, alas. Wolves In the Throne Room are predominantly shite, with traces of genius amid the horrendous, unbearable operatic, children’s TV grandeur. No true Black Metal fan should touch this.

Evilometer: 111/666