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Tag Archive: Wolves in the Throne Room


wolves in the throne room

Those of you wishing the return of seminal black metal act Wolves In The Throne Room to be accompanied by another slew of introspective and atmospheric black metal may be a little disappointed. The band have announced plans to release a new album based on material recorded for 2011′s Celestial Lineage, appropriately titled Celestite. Interestingly, the album will contain no vocals or drums, instead aiming for “heavy crystalline synthesizer journeying, Eno-inspired analog processing and arcane acoustic instrumentation.”

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converge live at BBC

You may have noticed a growing trend of live sessions coming out of BBC’s Maida Vale Studio. Just this year, Tesseract, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Baroness have released music performances from the studio, with hardcore act Converge being the latest band to come out with their session in the form of a limited 7″ EP to be released soon on Deathwish, Inc.

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Vestiges & Panopticon – Split

Vestiges/Panopticon SplitVestiges & Panopticon

Split

01. VII
02. VIII
03. A Letter
04. Eulogy
05. Collapse and Die (Suicide Nation cover)

[05/24/13]
[Replenish Records/The Flenser]

It’s weird to imagine a time when beautiful atmosphere and longing ambiance were thought to be the antithesis of extreme metal. Nowadays, the two aesthetics have long been mastered as complimentary. The post-whatever school of thought being the zeitgeist of the moment, it’s no wonder how black metal has become so affected. Strange, considering that it’s a genre seemingly built on an elitist exclusionary mindset, if stereotypes are to be trusted. Two bands cutting against this grain and bringing black metal out of bleak traditionalism and into oddly bright furtherance are Vestiges and Panopticon, whose split EP is a vibrant testimony for the American atmospheric black metal movement.

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ron-and-cats-promo-picture

New York-based and Boston-born progressive avant-garde metal giants Kayo Dot are getting ready to release their seventh studio album, Hubardo, to coincide with the ten year anniversary of their first release in 2003, Choirs of the Eye.

Making their way out to Avast Studios in Seattle, Washington, the band will once again team up with producer Randall Dunn (known for his work with SunnO))), Wolves In The Throne Room, Boris, Earth, and others) come April.

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danwietentoe

As you may have noticed, The Omega Experiment‘s fantastic self-titled debut album ended up on a few of our year-end lists. Their powerful blend of prog metal and soaring hooks — sounding like a crossbreed of Styx and Devin Townsend Project — is both thought provoking and incredibly catchy. We acclaimed the record, and we weren’t the only one who took notice of their excellence either; Listenable Records (home to fellow Heavy Blog favorites Gorod, Betraying The Martyrs, and Sybreed) just signed TOE and are re-releasing their debut album in 2013. We asked frontman and songwriter Dan Wieten to give us a recap of his favorite albums from the year, which you can read below!

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Drudkh – Eternal Turn of the Wheel

Drudkh

Eternal Turn of the Wheel

01. Eternal Circle
02. Breath of Cold Black Soil
03. When Gods Leave Their Emerald Halls
04. Farewell to Autumn’s Sorrowful Birds
05. Night Woven of Snow, Winds and Grey-Haired Stars

[03/13/12]
[Season of Mist Records]

The frigid howl of a mid-December tempest giving way to the serene warmth of what lay cloaked beneath the blanket of snow: both a summary of how Ukrainian black metal outfit Drudkh chose to open up their latest offering, Eternal Turn of the Wheel, and an accurate description of the evolution within black metal itself. Those that penned the genre’s blueprint had a particular mindset for what emotions would exist within their forest’s boundaries. Mayhem unleashed the carnal ferocity of winter’s bite, with anger gnashing like wolves thrashing about evergreen tree trunks. Burzum captured the atmosphere of emptiness and hopelessness, such as the dead cold of the still air. Above all though, Darkthrone created the essence of unending anguish, permeating the forest with desperate cries from those trapped in a blizzard and freezing to their doom in an indifferent heap of snow.

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Blut Aus Nord – 777 – Cosmosophy

Blut Aus Nord

777 – Cosmosophy

01. Epitome XIV
02. Epitome XV
03. Epitome XVI
04. Epitome XVII
05. Epitome XVIII

[09/21/12]
[Debemur Morti Productions]

Taken merely at surface value, French black metal outfit Blut Aus Nord’s 777 trilogy (2011’s Sect(s) & The Desanctification and 2012’s Cosmosophy) could be interpreted as a unique and effective blend of Deathspell Omega’s chaotic black metal and Godflesh’s grinding industrial groove. Such a conclusion would mistakenly settle for genre tags rather than allowing the trilogy’s expansive sonic themes to define these three releases for the monoliths that they are. The core sensation lies within the plight of a delicate human soul being torn to shreds as infernal and divine forces both lust for ownership via a celestial tug of war. For moments of varying brevity, the spirit experiences respite in purgatory as the higher beings recuperate for another bought of soul reaping.

While certainly an extraordinary summary of these albums’ accomplishments, BAN undoubtedly excels at their ability to seamlessly transition between sinister blackened bludgeonings and gorgeous ethereal soundscapes. Cosmosophy is perhaps BAN’s most pristine example of this talent, the strongest album in the 777 trilogy and the most appropriate to conclude it.

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A Forest Of Stars

A Shadowplay For Yesterdays

01. Dimensionless Resurrectionist
02. Prey Tell Of The Church Fate
03. A Prophet For A Pound Of Flesh
04. The Blight Of God’s Acre
05. Man’s Laughter
06. The Underside Of Eden
07. Gatherer Of The Pure
08. Left Behind As Static
09. Corvus Corona Pt. 1
10. Corvus Corona Pt. 2

 [07/20/12]
[Prophecy Production]

Victorian era Britain must’ve been an interesting time to be alive when you look back on it. Although mainly characterised by industrial innovation, a rather ‘prudish’ morality, greater emphasis upon the importance of proper sanitation and even the transition of children from ‘asset’ to ‘human being with rights’. It’s worth remembering that Victoria’s reign was also pockmarked by less desirable occurrences including horrific cholera outbreaks, the Great Famine of Ireland and even the enigmatic brutality of the infamous Jack The Ripper.

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Abigail Williams – Becoming

Abigail Williams

Becoming

01. Ascension Sickness
02. Radiance
03. Elestial
04. Infinite Fields of Mind
05. Three Days of Darkness
06. Beyond the Veil

[01/24/11]
[Candlelight Records]

Abigail Williams were always a divisive band in the realm of black metal. You could probably accurately pin it on a number of factors, including their roots in deathcore and the fact that they don’t particularly look the part. However, the LA-based band have been undergoing a transformation into a full-fledged black metal band, thanks in part to a revolving door lineup policy. Becoming, their appropriately-titled third record, sees the polarizing band evolving into an atmospheric black metal band akin to the likes of Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch. Yes, I’m serious; and no, it isn’t bad. In fact, it’s quite good.

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Before I heard their third full-length album Becoming, I didn’t consider myself a fan of LA-based black metal band Abigail Williams. If you haven’t kept up with the band simply because of some stupid notion that they were a metalcore band, then think again. They’ve evolved into a full-fledged atmospheric black metal band and would fall comfortable on the ears of fans of Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room. This record is their best work yet for sure, and you can stream it over at Hails & Horns.

I’ve been working on a review of the record for a while now, as it’s taking some time to gather my thoughts on it because black metal isn’t really my forte, but you can expect that later this week. Becoming is due out January 24th on Candlelight Records.

And if there’s any chance someone in the band or Candlelight reads this; release Becoming on vinyl. I’d buy it in a heartbeat and having this gorgeous album art in a larger physical size would be awesome.

- JR

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