Review Summary: Black metal combines with the cascadian mountains in one of the most enthralling listening experiences ever!
Having only recently discovered the genre of black metal in recent months and as I write delving enthusiastically into every nook, crany and crevice I can find. I can’t even recall how I came to hear of Wolves in the throne room but I can only say one thing…. THANK *** I DID! This is possibly the best album of any genre of metal that I’ve heard in ages! “wanderer above the sea of fog” starts out sounding like any other black metal number and as I’ve seen countless people say “they play one riff for 10 minutes” but I must digress, these people plainly are not listening. Put on headphones or turn your stereo up and just lie back and listen. Because admittedly on first listen I didn’t get it but second time around I just lay back and listened. This is where the beauty of this album lies.
The songs are constantly mutating, riffs change subtly with ambient keyboard additions coming in and out changing the feel of even the same riff or section in an instant taking you on an otherworldly rollercoaster ride. The songs constantly throw new textures at you, whether it’s the almost hypnotic ending to “ahrimanic trance” or the swirling atmospherics of “ex cathedra” or even the folkish refrain of “crystal ammunition”. The album perfectly captures the isolated organic feel of the environment in which the band surrounds themselves.
Which brings us to the production in that there is not an ounce of studio sheen or gloss to be found here. But there is still a clarity to the sound which means that every instrument can be heard and distinguished, which gives the album a natural organic yet still intricate feel. A lot of people say that these guys sound like Burzum and to be honest they do. But what Wolves in the throne room do is move away from the satanic blasphemy of black metals origins and follow their own path which in itself is absolutely amazing.
I can not find the words to describe how amazing this piece of work is because what Wolves in the throne room have done is create an album which you could happily get lost in for years and never want to find your way back. An absoloute classic!