Wolves In The Throne Room – Thrice Woven

[Reviewed by stark]

I remember a couple of years ago a guy on my Facebook wall was complaining about the list that was published in some magazine, a list of the most influential/interesting/promising (one of these, don’t remember exactly) black metal bands. Wolves In The Throne Room took first place, and he was like: “This cacophony? But where’s Behemoth? Where’s Satyricon? Where are the actual songs with the normal duration?”

I couldn’t understand that, because the band were highly influenced by Norwegian black metal from the mid-90s, only their sound and structures were more monolithic than the classics. Apart from the experimental, so-called “post” black metal, I’ve seen the future of the genre in such albums as “Black Cascade”. Now on one hand I’m not so sure about that, the newer bands… sometimes they sound fresh and innovative, sometimes even daring though often pretentious in their experimentations. It’s doubtful they will stand the test of time, once the black metal trend is gone. On the other hand, what do I know?

But if I had to pick a band which stood a chance of being remembered for a longer period of time it would be Wolves In The Throne Room, paradoxically because of their conservatism. Apart from their one-time adventure in Berlin School stylings on “Celestite”, they’re making pretty much the same music they were a decade ago. They’re rooted in their style like a thousand year old oak in American soil. It’s not fresh anymore, it’s rather tarnished, but I can’t deny a certain nobleness of these compositions. The sound is better and more professional; there are guest appearances by Anna von Hausswolff and Steve von Till, but these are but the details to the Burzum-esque riffs and “Tomhet” influenced synth passages (“Angrboda”). Like the wolves, deep forest and moonlight carved in music; it is still enjoyable, even though it didn’t give the chills on my spine.

The band is performing at huge events these days, like the Off Festival in Katowice, my hometown where they were playing next to such artists as Swans, PJ Harvey and Shellac. Seemingly, people are still fond of Wolves In The Throne Room. Ok, we’ve yet to see how their – and the whole genre’s – future turns out. If you’re a fan, you will buy “Thrice Woven”, no matter what the reviews say. If you don’t know the band, but would like to check it, this release is a good option. But you may as well try “Black Cascade” or “Celestial Lineage”, your opinion will be pretty much the same.

Wolves In The Throne RoomThrice Woven
Artemisia Records, DIA 015
CD/MC/LP/Digital 2017

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