Wolves In The Throne Room-Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord)
Say what you will about Wolves In The Throne Room; a new LP from the Washington State duo is bound to be a cause for discussion.
Indeed, no matter which side of the opinion fence you stand with this American black metal outfit-whether you feel Wolves are a hipster abomination or a mystical metal revelation-the bottom line is that both sides feel really passionate about their respective stance.
Yours truly? I dig ‘em. Always have. With this latest LP, however, I think that my feelings of respect and admiration have grown tenfold; that’s how impressed I am with Celestial Lineage.
It would have been easy for the band to follow a creative arc similar to either 2009′s sprawling Black Cascade or the organic black metal double shot of Two Hunters and Diadem of 12 Stars, but instead Lineage sees Wolves In The Throne Room expand their atmospheric prowess via some thick, impenetrable walls of synth and guitar. The brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver work in synch here to create an album which is both immediately listenable as well as mysterious in the long term, with layers of dark melody making their way through the ebbing riff darkness upon each successive spin.
The aesthetic overall isn’t that dissimilar to two black metal landmarks from disparate eras: Emperor’s classic In The Nightside Eclipse upon one end of the spectrum, and Negura Bunget’s OM on the other; an evocative feeling which ushers in that indescribable feeling of uneasiness one feels when listening to something truly special and otherworldly. This set up is aided by the expertly utilized female vocal accompaniment of one Jessika Kenney, as well as the earthy production values which, as always, elicit warm memories of classic Arckanum, a comparison I’ve referenced time and time again for the Wolves.
At this point, however, Wolves In The Throne Room have become a reference point unto themselves; a leader and frontrunner for American black metal as a legitimate contender to their Norse and Swedish peers. If there were any doubt at this point, Wolves In The Throne Room are indeed The Real Deal, with Celestial Lineage serving as unmitigated and unadulterated proof. This one is a first day purchase.
Written by MetalGeorge