Wolves in the Throne Room is a very special band coming from the United States and particularly from Washington. The brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver formed the band in 2002, with the vision to create a band mixing Cascadian (from the Cascade mountains) nature-inspired music and misanthropic black metal. In 2004 the two brothers decided to live in a farmstead on the outskirts of Olympia, as self-sufficient as possible. This different way of life has definitely influenced their sound and philosophy.
In 2006 they released their debut “Diadem of 12 Stars” that made quite a sense in the underground scene, with its unique atmosphere and brilliant music and much more mature approach than most bands of the genre. Next year’s “Two Hunters” proved that Wolves in the Throne Room wasn’t just a “firework”, but a band with essence and much more to offer. This time their music explored more tranquil and acoustic parts with some magical female vocals. In the beginning of 2009 they released the EP “Malevolent Grain” and now is the time for their third much-anticipated full-length “Black Cascade”!
What we get here is their most straightforward effort so far. The album begins with the sounds of rainfall, but soon enough black metal guitars enter the song, more powerful and dominant than ever. The tempo of the songs isn’t very fast, but definitely faster than before. “Black Cascade” was recorded onto 2 inch tape and mixed on a 1973 Neve Console, giving a really unique nostalgic sound in their music. Their genre isn’t very easily defined, but this time it’s closer to primal black metal, with a more solid result and not so many changes from song to song. There are 4 long compositions in the album, all of them more than 10 minutes, with a pagan, epic, hateful atmosphere. There are no acoustic songs or female vocals this time, but there is still variety in their music, experimenting with ritual, folk, ambient and drone soundscapes. Their deep respect for nature is obvious in their music and they try to “capture” the feeling of pacific North West landscapes in their songs. I believe that it is their best album so far, much more mature, balanced and well produced…
“Black Cascade” is released again by Southern Lorn Records in digipak format with amazing artwork and it definitely deserves your attention. If you know the band, you probably don’t need to read any review. If you don’t know them you can visit their official pages to get a taste.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos