Release Date: Mar 31, 2009
Record label: Southern Lord
Genre(s): Rock, Metal
What polarizes many in the metal community about Wolves in the Throne Room isn’t necessarily their music but the band’s message. Traditionally a stubbornly apolitical musical form, black metal’s preoccupation with nihilist, misanthropic, pagan, anti-Christian and Satanic themes made it abundantly clear activism was best left to the hardcore punk crowd, with most artists focusing more on arresting, poetic imagery in their often introspective lyrics. When Wolves in the Throne Room came along in 2006, however, the trio of bearded musicians from Olympia, Washington ruffled a few feathers with their fierce environmentalism, tales of living a self-sufficient life on a farm and shockingly Romantic idea one can use this extremely dark, melancholic style of music to achieve a sort of spiritual transcendence.
Review Summary: Wolves in the Throne Room swap personality for aggression.Fans who've been following Wolves in the Throne Room since they debuted onto the black metal scene with Diadem of 12 Stars (or perhaps earlier) will immediately notice an ideological shift on Black Cascade, though perhaps not the one they envisioned after the surprisingly controversial Malevolent Grain EP. Unlike Malevolent Grain, an album that was highlighted by guest-vocalist Jamie Meyers' (ex-Hammers of Misfortune) stronghold over the music's decidedly (and unexpectedly) shoe-gazy sound, Black Cascade does not feature further departure from the band's more primal, aggressive black metal beginnings. In fact it's quite the contrary.
As much as one can call anything associated with black metal a crossover record, Two Hunters-- the sprawling second album from Wolves in the Throne Room-- was just that. Extolled by critics, embraced by indie rock kids, appreciated by metal legions, Wolves' overwhelming crescendos and glowing decrescendos, beautiful and brutal, spoke as much to worshippers of Emperor's Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk as acolytes of Radiohead's Kid A. The band offered an enigmatic allure, too, speaking of its communal farm outside of Olympia, Wash.