September 22, 2017 Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven (Album Review)
Wolves are known for their mysterious leadership, cunning and ferocious hunting skills, and exploring capabilities. When the name wolf is used in the context of a Heavy Metal band, a majority of the time the band takes on a dominant presence cunningly winning over the hearts of its listeners within a few moments.
This is definitely the case for Washington State’s Ambient Black Metal band known as Wolves In The Throne Room. Subtly flourishing since the early 2000s, they are now set to release their latest five song LP Thrice Woven on Friday, September, 22nd, 2017 via Artemisia Records. Upon first glance, with only five songs, it may appear this latest album is only an EP, but in the world of the Wolves In The Throne Room, a ten plus minute song becomes the norm.
This special album features the original founders and brothers Nathan Weaver on guitar/lead vocals and Aaron Weaver on drums, bass, as well as synthesizers. Additionally, it includes recent full-time member Kody Keyworth on guitar/vocals. Special guests on the album range from some breathtaking female ambient vocals of Anna von Hausswolff, offering her voice on “Born From the Serpent’s Eye” and “Mother Owl, Father Ocean.” There is also Phil Petrocelli with his percussion work on “Mother Owl, Father Ocean” among others including a grand harp performance by Zeynep Oyku. With this cultural overseas freshness added into the epic Black Metal stylings of the brothers, the results are nothing short of extreme creativity, alluring ambiance, and exploratory riffage.
It all starts with “Born From The Serpent’s Eye,” which tears into the flesh beneath the journey at hand. The welcoming intro creeps inside the interworking of the listener’s soul. It then spits itself out with its new found energetic glory into fast and furious Black Metal riffs as well as beats with the growling sinister vocals to carry the treacherous ride to completion. Then, over midway through, the foreign tongue of the fallen angel Anna von Hausswolff can be heard with its echo enhanced chant-like presence. A expedition surpassing nine minutes, it ends as peacefully as it began before moving on to ‘”The Old Ones Are With Us,” which begins with an acoustic guitar medley. This is topped with a dark fortune teller voice effect giving a depiction or perhaps a warning before spinning off into demonic sadness of a world struggling to emerge into purity.
Amidst Thrice Woven, a masterpiece ensues when perfection is found on the ten-minute long “Angrboda.” Switching up from Black Metal to ambient, to back again, it creates such a compelling visual story that really holds its own more than any other track on the album. On to the shortest part of the album, yet still an important one, “Mother Owl, Father Ocean” serves as the calm before the storm at just over two minutes and includes Anna von Hausswolff’s serene vocals with a harp beautifully soothing the air in the background.
Lastly, the album concludes with the over eleven minute piece entitled “Fires Roar In The Palace Of The Moon.” Here, the race is on and the hunt within the screeching howl has taken effect. The backing effects in the atmospheric tones are absolutely mesmerizing. As a result, it puts the listener in a very calm and almost catatonic state that can only be undone upon the true ending when more is craved.
Anyone familiar with Wolves In The Throne Room knows they are not a typical Black Metal band. That said, they really should not be classified as one even though they do have the blackened guitar, drums, and vocal sound. Diverse, they cross tempos so well that there really is another side to them when mixed with the more classic sounds. The very end of Thrice Woven completes the serendipitous mood with the sounds of ocean waves crashing in the rain and it instantly calms any fury within.
The tour in support of Thrice Woven, which kicks off September 29th, is sure to be exciting because in a live setting Wolves in the Throne Room tend to be full of surprises. For its purely innovative creation, CrypticRock gives Thrice Woven 5 out of 5 stars.
September 29 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
September 30 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
October 2 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 3 Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
October 5 Houston, TX @ White Oak (downstairs)
October 6 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
October 7 Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
October 9 Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
October 10 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Hell
October 11 Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House
October 12 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
October 13 Brooklyn, NY @ Villain
October 14 Pittsburgh, PA @ Villain
October 16 Cincinnati, OH @ The Taft Ballroom
October 17 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
October 18 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St. Collective
October 20 Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
October 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 22 Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
October 23 Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 24 Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 25 Olympia, WA @ Obsidian
November 12 McDade, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival
November 15 Zagreb, HR @ Vintage Industrial Bar
November 16 Innsbruck, AT @ PMK
November 17 Dresden, CZ @ Beatpol
November 18 Wroclaw, PL @ Firlej
November 19 Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu
November 20 Moscow, RU @ Volta
November 21 St Petersburg, RU @ Opera
November 22 Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia
November 23 Stockholm, SE @ Kraken
November 24 Oslo, NO @ Bla
November 26 Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall
November 27 Bochum, DE @ BHF Langendreer
November 28 Utrecht, NL @ Pandora
November 29 Tilburg, NL @ 013 Popcentre
November 30 London, UK @ Heaven
December 1 Manchester, UK @ Rebellion Club
December 2 Glasgow, UK @ St Luke’s
December 4 Dublin, IRE @ Whelans
December 5 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
December 6 Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
December 7 Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
December 8 Paris, FR @ Glazart
December 9 Limoges, FR @ Festival de Noël #25
December 10 Toulouse, FR @ Le Rex
December 12 Bern, CH @ Dachstock – Reitschule
December 13 Schorndorf, DE @ Club Manufaktur
December 14 Leuven, BE @ Stuk
December 15 Athens, GR @ Gagarin 205
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