Wolves in the Throne Room
Black Cascade


4.5
superb

Review

by ThyCrossAwaits USER (46 Reviews)
May 19th, 2009 | 18 replies | 2,462 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Black metal that keeps it simple, but ferocious.

Wolves In the Throne Room is a 4-piece black metal band from Olympia, Washington. Black Cascade is their third full-length album released on March 31st, 2009 on Southern Lord Records.

Ah, my quest into the twilit world of black metal continues. I’ve discovered everything from Enslaved’s misty post-black to Emperor’s skeletal shredding black. I’ve even heard the foresty sounds of Ulver’s auditory hypnosis. Black metal’s horizons seem to be endless, and in a realm of extremes from all corners, it’s comforting to find some middle ground. Wolves In the Throne Room provides a little islet in the vast cosmos that is black metal. Their sound leans toward no extremes, but finds a middle ground that they can mold to make interesting while maintaining accessibility.

Wolves In the Throne Room have progressed, as all bands do. Their style has changed, and whether that’s for the better or not depends on your taste…and your attention span. In previous WItTR releases, the band has incorporated lengthy melodic interludes into their black, as is expected from any respectable black metal outfit. Besides this, WItTR’s softer movements were very intelligently written and played, performed gracefully, one could even say. Wolves In the Throne Room’s previous writing could actually be compared, on an intellectual level, to that of Opeth’s grand poobah Mikael Åkerfeldt; mind-bending music from a whole other plane. However, on Black Cascade, those movements are all but extinct. There is still a healthy level of melody, but often it is watered down and blurred into WItTR’s newly increased belligerence.

Black Cascade both suffers and benefits from this style “progression”. It erases a sense of personality that may have drawn deeper several listeners to Wolves In the Throne Room, but it also attracts a different (possibly more numerous?) crowd by making the sound more easily accessible to new fans. The last half of Ahrimatic Trance is a beautiful black metal instrumental that should sate any hungers for melody. The hostility of Wolves’ music, however, has been brought to the forefront and cranked to 11. The vocals are skillful and polished high-pitches, but are also chock full of charismatic anger and violence. The bloodcurdling and emotional screams bring to mind Discordance Axis’ Jon Chang. The guitars throughout the album are typical driving black metal, thudding, but I’d hesitate to go as far as to call them “droning”. Besides, dwelling beneath is a dark underlying symphony that proves that black will forever be the most beautiful metal (Gothic can suck it). Even the repetitive drums can’t block out the harmonies (and believe me, the cymbal abuse going on sure tries).

So Wolves In the Throne Room’s personality hasn’t completely drained, maybe it’s just hiding. If you wade your way through the otherworldly hailstorm of Black Cascade, you can still hear a shrouded but very much alive version of the musical capabilities WItTR hold. Peruse your way through the stunning Crystal Ammunition and you’ll hear what I speak of. There’s the quiet festering, the violent pummeling, and the swooping in-between. All this discord between cacophony and harmony actually adds to the vocals’ fury, (see opener Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog) creating a waterfall of cascading Cynic-style twilight metal that is good for many a dimensional listen.

While it may not be Wolves In the Throne Room’s best work, Black Cascade is nothing short of a superb work of art, albeit angry art. WItTR’s previous release Two Hunters was a classic, and this may be a degeneration, but the extraordinary possibilities are still there. So listen to this first, then grab Two Hunters and decide which face of Wolves In the Throne Room you prefer: ingenious personality or pure unbridled emotion.



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3.7
great
other reviews of this album
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Black metal combines with the cascadian mountains in one of the most enthralling listening experienc...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
May 19th 2009


19383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

into the twilit world of black metal

*Twilight

. Their style has changed, and whether that’s for the better or not depends on your taste…and your attention span.

Hardly changed at all. They pretty much dropped the post-metal shoegazey parts.

Review reads like a 3.5. Ok review.



Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

ThyCrossAwaits
May 19th 2009


3052 Comments


no. twilit. like lit by twilight.

Wizard
May 19th 2009


19383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Never heard that before. Learned something new I guess hahahaha

Really enjoyed the first paragraph.

ThyCrossAwaits
May 19th 2009


3052 Comments


lol the one that says they're from Washington?

Wizard
May 19th 2009


19383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hahahaha sorry second paragraph. I like how you described the different aura's of black metal and used some examples to back it up.

ThyCrossAwaits
May 19th 2009


3052 Comments


lol figured. thanks.

Wizard
May 19th 2009


19383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No prob : ).

fireaboveicebelow
May 19th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this might be my favorite release by Wolves

thejared
May 20th 2009


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty good review ! I pretty much love this even though after a while it gets a bit repetetive...

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

thejared
May 20th 2009


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

DOUBLE POST FOR NO APPARENT REASON!!!!!!! This Message Edited On 05.19.09

jingledeath
May 20th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well done but it stil reads like a 3.5-4 review.

Waior
May 20th 2009


11451 Comments


Mmmm, vast cosmos of black metal. Great review/pos

Mordecai.
May 20th 2009


8278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

waiting for a really positive review for this. nice job. definately my favourite non-European black metal band

pos!This Message Edited On 05.20.09

rasputin
May 20th 2009


14541 Comments


album sux

kitsch
May 20th 2009


5107 Comments


diadem of 12 stars rules but thats all ive heard of these guys

mothergoose
June 6th 2009


308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Enjoyed this review. Album is excellent.

zaruyache
December 27th 2009


6406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's pretty sweet.


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zaruyache
April 17th 2012


6406 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Three year necro bump of double-posting EPICNESS. I like this review, pos'd.



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