Wolves in the Throne Room
Wolves in the Throne Room


4.5
superb

Review

by Alrightmax USER (2 Reviews)
December 13th, 2011 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rarely mentioned, this first release sets the pace for their later ones, while simultaneously driving the band through musical territory uncharted since.

Wolves in the Throne Room are at somewhat of a pivotal moment in terms of their future. They are quickly becoming one of the most recognized and popular American black metal acts, while simultaneously becoming increasingly criticized by the black metal scene for not being representative to traditional black metal values and sound (hell, just look at Leviathan’s last interview in Decibel). Whether or not this is deserved criticism is a point of individual judgment. Nevertheless, when discussing the band’s music, their first, self-titled release is all but absent from the conversation. This is a terrible disservice to the band, as the album is probably their most original, organic, and certainly their most explorative release. Strangely, it isn’t even listed under their discography on the official website.

This release is truly one where the band exposes their discursive roots. Influences of death, thrash, crust and southern rock , as with the melodically-driven black metal that has always been the cornerstone of Wolves in the Throne Room’s sound, all lurk amongst foreboding guitar parts, volatile drumming, and emotive vocals. Overall, it’s darker than their later albums, with a greater focus on guitar noodling than vast keyboard crescendos. The vocals tend to become more minimalistic as the songs progress, yielding to somber chord progressions that drag the listener through the shadows of the Cascadian mountains. Luckily, we are spared from the boring “atmospheric” filler tracks that are ubiquitous in their later releases. This is a demo though, with the typical errors that always occur is said releases; the drums sometimes lose the guitars, there’s the occasional misplaced note and poorly executed chord progression, but unexpectedly, the recording quality is quite clear (perhaps to a fault).

A caveat to acute listeners: their later releases borrow heavily from this one. This is especially noticeable in “If This Dark Age Conquers We Will Leave This Echo”, whose last few minutes were copied almost verbatim in “Diadem” and “Two Hunters“. This, on the other hand, is not really enough to detract from the listening experience. Instead, it creates those “hey, I know that!” moments, that, in this reviewer’s opinion, contribute to a sense of nostalgia and completion from listening to Wolves in the Throne Room’s earliest release. In fact, the afore mentioned track is perhaps the strongest of this quintuplet release, regardless of this transgression.

As a whole, one would be amiss in recommending this to a new Wolves in the Throne Room fan, as this isn’t really representative of their current the sound. This may account for its relevantly low rating, but in terms of its musical prowess, one could put it right beside “Two Hunters“, as one of their best releases to date. Much to this vein, their self-titled is better suited for the later fans that may have missed it before, and have been disappointed be their latest (two) releases(s).


user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 13th 2011


8946 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

going to listen to this now, since i've overlooked it for a long time. nice review. :]

Hawks
December 13th 2011


35837 Comments


Completely forgot about this. I'll have to check it out soon.

tarkus
December 13th 2011


5560 Comments


only heard two hunters and it rules might check this sometime

Hawks
December 13th 2011


35837 Comments


Listen to the debut it's their best.

Ire
December 13th 2011


41828 Comments


INB4 BORING LOL

Alrightmax
December 13th 2011


112 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah , I'd pretty much forgotten about it too, but it's really worth checking out.

Ire
December 13th 2011


41828 Comments


boring lol

Ignimbrite
December 13th 2011


5499 Comments


TH is their best imo, but I'd be down to check this one out sometime.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2011


8946 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i don't know, i found it to sound like someone ripping off the wittr debut and forgetting the personality that made it good

not a bad beginning though i guess :]

MoosechriS
December 14th 2011


5061 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Demo is not bad, disjointed in places and lacks the flow of their debut and two hunters. A good collection of ideas but nothing more really

BugZoid
December 14th 2011


331 Comments


A fine review. I can honestly say I had no idea this existed, but I'm still waiting for Two Hunters to appear under my tree :D

Anthemic
August 27th 2014


96 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The guitars on this are fucking crazy.

It's as aggressive as Black Cascade but a little better.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy