Release Date: Sep 22, 2017
Record label: Artemisia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Black Metal
Met with catharsis and moments of enlightenment, Thrice Woven not only shows a band honing aptitude and introspection, but also demonstrates their ability to continually push and alter limitations and expectations of what the genre of metal is and what it has the chance to become. Thrice Woven is beautifully written .
A triumphant return to black metal after a six year hiatus into ambient bliss, with homages to second wave black metal and the original Cascadian scene in addition to pushing the boundaries of the sound they dipped out on. If Cultes Des Ghoules represent the evolution of black metal in its purest form, all the way from the blueprints laid by Bathory and Mayhem in the 80s, then Wolves in the Throne Room represent all that is great about the divergence of modern black metal to me. When Cultes Des Ghoules play their hand of bassy, thundering riffs and a good old-fashioned obsession with the occult, Wolves in the Throne Room raise them some nature worship and twenty minute long tremolo picking exercises.
It may be hard to remember now, but there once was a time when Wolves in the Throne Room were considered rather controversial. Black metal, for all its iconoclastic tendencies, has never been a genre renowned for giving newcomers an easy ride, and its certainly true to say that the Olympia, Washington band were awarded a divisive reception from the scene at large. They have been derided by some for a supposedly pretentious level of concern for the environment, and by others for a perceived dilution of black metal.
Wolves in the Throne Room is without a doubt one of the leading black metal bands of the current US wave. Since the release of their 2006 debut album, A Diadem of 12 Stars, the band has been on a path towards completing the bitter, atmospheric black metal narrative. Record after record, brothers Nathan and Aaron Weaver have produced works of great depth in Two Hunters, Black Cascade and Celestial Lineage, pushing forwards towards a less expansive but still very potent style of atmospheric black metal.
Album number six from Wolves In The Throne Room sees the band returning with a sense of freshness. The trilogy of albums that began with Two Hunters and ended with Celestial Lineage is now complete and with long time touring guitarist Kody Keyworth a bone fide member of the band, this does feel like something of a new beginning for the band. Thrice Woven also takes the band back into black metal territory after their last album Celestite (a sort of addendum to the trilogy) explored more ambient, synth driven atmospherics.
Celestite, the fifth album from Wolves in the Throne Room, was a major departure for the Olympia, Washington, black metal group, foregrounding synths and drones and forsaking most traces of metal. Drummer Aaron Weaver reveled in the change, explaining how Detroit techno was black metal.
Pacific Northwesterners Wolves In The Throne Room have long been masters at creating moments of clarity: those instances where their ear-splitting black metal engine cuts out and leaves the song to glide on unassisted, breaking out of the broiling storm clouds and into a clear canopy of sunlight. It’s a knack the band have spent 15 years perfecting, and Thrice Woven offers a textbook example of this halfway through opening track 'Born From The Serpent's Eye'. After a four-and-a-half minute barrage of tremolo riffs sprinting over rocky blast beats, the song shoots over a cliff edge into silence.