Wolves In The Throne Room / Celestial Lineage

Celestial Lineage

Wolves in the Throne Room is a black metal band based in Olympia, Washington.

Their sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal, doom metal, dark ambient, crust punk, and folk music. WITTR has often cited American post-metal band Neurosis as a key inspiration because their music “operates on a deep and intense mythic level.”[1] They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.[2] According to the band, one of the founding concepts of WITTR is to channel the “energies” of the Pacific Northwest’s landscape into musical form.[3]

The band’s lyrics focus on themes of Apocalypse, transformation and modern society’s lost connection with the natural world.

The Analysis:

Thuja Magus Imperion—-Opening the release with an epic 12 minute track, the band sets the tone and leaves you anxious for the onslaught that you know is about to occur. by using ambient sounds and gentle female chanting, the anticipation level only becomes more anxiety producing. This is wonderfully beautiful at the onset…causing me a momentary panic that i had been presented with the wrong CD!!!! Come the 3 minute mark, the sound of the band begins to slowly emerge and you know that you are in the right place. the deep tone and the intense delivery continues to grow and grow as the seconds pass and you are once again firmly planted in what is possibly one of the best Scandinavian sounding American bands to ever emerge. This reminds me of classic Emperor so much….but all the while still maintaing a magic melodic sound that was missing from much of the music from the afore-mentioned band. This is brutal, melodic, orchestrated…dark as hell and just plain masterful!!!

Permanent Changes In Consciousness—-This short interlude only serves to keep you off-balance and allow you respite from the heavy darkness of this bands music…the chants are magnificent…the slight crackle and pop in the backdrop is like listening to an old favorite record. This is brilliant…the mood changes are just enough to cause you a pleasant nausea!

Subterranean Initiation—-With no introduction, the onslaught occurs from the very first note of this song…leaving you breathing heavily by the end of the first minute of this 7 minute track. The vocal is incredible…full of puke and regurgitation, anger and vehemence. this is noisy, heavily layered and delivered with a slight underproduced sound that makes me smile. this is just as the dr. ordered….go and have some fun…this is a freakin’ vacation!!!!

Rainbow Illness—-Another slight interlude designed to keep you off-balance and give you a moment to breath, this only builds up your stamina for the next three epic tracks that will leave you breathless and orgasmic. This is largely composed of ambient sounds and layered textures…but still brilliant!

Woodland Cathedral—-Beginning rather sedate, you can feel the underlying edge to the track despite it though. This is magical stuff…..I find it almost impossible to believe that this band is born and bred in the US of A……Wow!!! The gentle effects that run through the backdrop of the song only sets the tone for the rest of the release. The female enchantress returns and allows you to relax….almost settling yourself in to a gentle Enya style track…but have no fear…the true mayhem is not far from what we have come to expect…this is just designed to whet your buds….you thirsty yet?

Astral Blood—-Returning to the more familiar dark aggression, the surprising thing for me on this track is how much more in front of the mix the drums are…nice! This still sounds so Scandinavian….almost like the production is MEANT to sound subpar…to remind us of the glory days of the past Black Metal giants. The vocal is demonic and angry….driven and full of vitriol. This is just brilliant. The track…at almost 11 minutes is full of various movements, moods and effects…but comes together like a masterful Mashed Potato and Gravy dish. This is filling…but still leaves you wanting more…fantastic!!!!

Prayer Of Transformation—-Rounding out the release with yet another epic track……zeroing in at 11 minutes long, this band has no problem with jamming and presenting many diffeent moods all in one song. theffedback and reverb on this song are incredible…giving the entire thing an even darker feeling than anything else thus far heard on this particular release. This is huge, epic and full of a Sabbath like doom that takes you from where you are and lands you in the cold and dark areas of Europe you wish you could be….all of this from a Washington State based band. This is just incredible….I love the darkness, the aggression that comes out of nowhere and the vocal that sounds like it was ripped from the throat of others. Can’t wait to hear more from this band!!!!

**** out of 5

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