Atmospheric black metal is a genre known for a fairly specific style: shrieking vocals, clean leads soaking in reverb, and guitar riffs that create crushing walls of noise. Giants in the genre, like Wolves In The Throne Room or Weakling, pioneered this blend of ambience and aggression in the early 2000s, and 15 years later, the genre still sounds pretty much the same. Sure, there are plenty of groups that have taken the sound and twisted it around, like Saor and Panopticon, who both add folk instruments to their music, or Epitimia, who throw in jazz and electronic elements to spice up their sound.
Tag Archive Wolves in the Throne Room
For those who missed our last installment, we post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to.
As is typical of these updates, there are a few inclusions of new releases that have recently received the HBIH stamp of approval via positive reviews. Jaga Jazzist‘s Starfire (review here), Maruta‘s Remain Dystopian (review here) and Secrets of the Sky‘s Pathway (review here) all received positive marks from our staff, particularly the former. It is also fitting that there are a couple of Mastodon inclusions, as they were the subject of our recent ‘For Fans Of” post which may be read here. Additionally, considering the multiple instances of Cattle Decapitation‘s excellent last album Monolith of Inhumanity, it is safe to assume that our staff is rather excited for their upcoming album The Anthropocene Extinction; lead single “Manufactured Extinct” may be streamed here. Finally, while not necessarily a “metal” release, Prurient‘s new noise masterpiece is included by a couple members of our staff, yours included. Stream the album here and be sure to check out the project’s upcoming dates with Godflesh here.
For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
Head past the jump to see which records have been receiving regular rotation on our headphones, stereos and turntables:
Australian blackened sludge metal act (and appropriately named) Hope Drone are one of our favorite up-and-coming and relatively unknown artists here at Heavy Blog. The group’s 2013 self titled and self-released record Hope Drone impressed us so much that we
begged asked the group to be a part of our inaugural compilation download, Heavy Comp Is Heavy: Volume One. Criminally unknown as they are, we weren’t the only ones to take notice; the group signed a deal with extreme metal mecca Relapse Records last year.
Now the results of this partnership are beginning to come to fruition as the band have announced their new opus Cloak of Ash, which will see release this summer. Accompanying this announcement is a stream of the nine-minute epic “Every End Is Fated In Its Beginning.” Read up on Cloak of Ash and get a glimpse of greatness to come after the jump.
A key phrase by which many black metal bands operate is “less is more.” The idea that a piece of music is at its best when it’s as simple and stripped-down as it can possibly be is a common belief in the black metal community, but unfortunately, as with the untitled debut album from Terra, less can sometimes be too little, especially in a genre like black metal, where experimentation is necessary to stand out.
It’s really not hard to piss off a black metal fan, and no other band has done that in this decade quite like New York’s Liturgy. After the release of 2011’s Aesthethica, a string a particularly pretentious interviews and praise from a wide variety of music publications, the band was almost poised to end after several of their key members left the group. While they’ve been resting on their hype for at least a few years now, the band is now only one week away from releasing their third LP, The Ark Work, which is unquestionably their most experimental effort to date. To keep fans happy, the band decided to put up a full stream of the album on NPR yesterday, and things have definitely taken a turn for the weirder.
The recent disbandment of noisey blackened doom unit Indian was a bummer all of us. Their last album From All Purity is now left as a de-facto swansong, and while it’s a killer note to leave on, it just feels like there was work left undone.
Believe it or not though, there is some good news to come out of Indian’s dissolution. Lord Mantis, who have been on hiatus this winter, has gained new breath of life by absorbing the band’s lineup for a new EP.
Depending on who you ask, America’s black metal scene is wounded but recovering. The young sect of atmospheric and post-black metal acts are flourishing, dividing listeners firmly on either side of the aisle. On one hand, Panopticon‘s latest outings meddled in swathes of bluegrass and Americana, contributing to the furtherance of black metal as a visceral and capable artform. On the other, longtime fans of the genre bemoan the fusion of post-rock and new wave made popular by acts such as Wolves in the Throne Room and Deafheaven as an “unneeded feminization” (their words, not ours) of black metal. It goes without saying, of course, that around these parts, the petulant line drawing and “stay out of my side of the playpen” mentality is frowned upon, as genre fusion and variation are to be celebrated. Nevertheless, there is an urge to see America export more bands that borrow from the Emperor and Gorgoroth schools of thought, and Minneapolis’ Astral Blood have the potential to fill that need while still flirting heavily with the Americanized atmospheric style of black metal.
Typically, blackgaze and post-rock mix into a crushing, noisy wall a la Deafheaven or Wolves In The Throne Room. However, Sannhet are not your run-of-the-mill blackgaze band.
Abigail Williams are shifting styles across the black metal spectrum almost as fast as they swap out members, and it’s typically always for the better. The band blossomed into atmospheric black metal in the realm of Wolves in the Throne Room for 2012’s Becoming, which was one of my personal favorites from that year. Now the band are on the move once again with a new lineup and a new sonic direction, and while they’re putting finishing touches on the highly anticipated record, they’ve decided to tie fans over with early versions of two brand new songs that are now streaming with our friends at No Clean Singing.
Media outlets are growing weirder by the minute. Ten years ago you would have never seen NPR stream a band like Deafheaven, or something of the like. Now, apparently, the New York Times want to get in on all the blacktion (black metal action), because they’re streaming the new Wolves In The Throne Room record, which actually isn’t black metal at all. You can stream it below!