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Wolves In The Throne Room - Black Cascade (9/10) - USA - 2009

Genre: Black Metal / Atmospheric
Label: Southern Lord Recordings
Playing time: 49:58
Band homepage: Wolves In The Throne Room

Tracklist:

  1. Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog
  2. Ahrimanic Trance
  3. Ex Cathedra
  4. Crystal Ammunition
Wolves In The Throne Room - Black Cascade

Everyone's favorite environmentalist Black Metal band is back, and with the massive following they've gathered after their last album "Two Hunters", this release is sure to make a stir in the underground. With four songs spanning over 50 minutes, once more it's obvious that we're dealing with some massively atmospheric Black Metal.

The opening song "Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog" begins beautifully with some melodic riffs, then slowly grows into a masterpiece that seems strongly reminiscent of DRUDKH. We are drawn into the vast deep forests, where a powerful and emotional journey brimming with nostalgia and sorrow awaits us. This is the kind of music you don't just listen to, it surrounds you and sucks you in with its intense atmospherics. It's interesting to note that where their Ukrainian counterparts are often quite right-wing and nationalistic in their expression, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM are focused on the spiritual, even though they share the intense respect for nature.

With "Ahrimanic Trance", the pace picks up, and a slight case of EMPEROR-influence shines through the shades of the woods. Heavy layers of dark ambiance and floating riffs still dominates, with the characteristic organic sound that has drawn so many people into these desolate woodlands. These songs have a hypnotic quality to them, and as is often the case with atmospheric Black Metal, is best enjoyed in the dark. It just feels wrong to listen to the black raspy sounds of "Ex Cathedra" when the sun is shining and birds are singing in the background, it is an experience that requires immersion.

The closing track, "Crystal Ammunition", is the best out of the bunch, with a strong sorrowful melodic element bearing it through its 14 minutes running time. It's touching, crushing, yet at the same time fragile and subtle, even though it takes a few listens to truly sink in. Such ends what stands as WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM's greatest effort so far, which is quite an accomplishment with their great track record. This one is essential not just for the existing fans, but should appear in any collection of atmospheric Black Metal.

(Online April 28, 2009)

Ailo Ravna



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