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Wolves in the Throne Room - Malevolent Grain CD (album) cover

MALEVOLENT GRAIN

Wolves in the Throne Room

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.31 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dim
Prog Reviewer
3 stars With a new guitar player, a bass player, the use of more modern recording techniques, ans a logo you can actually read, you'd think the group was selling out. Nope, at least not now. This two song twenty minute EP does show us a new direction in the music though. Keep in mind, their next EP is due soon (April or May), so this may not be the best representation of where the group is headed, otherwise...

Malevolent Grain has much heavier atmosphere about it, though, not as dense as their last LP Two Hunters. The entire first song is sung exclusively by a female guest singer., which isn't too much of a surprise considering they've had a female singer for each of their albums come in on a few sections. Some may say that they've taken this a little too far though, the song is thirteen minutes long, and while the song is played in typical wolves black metal fashion, the sudden intake of an exclusive female voice, and the cleaner production may be a bit of a turn off. For one reason or the other, the song seems to lack it's teethe, something really drives the group to make such excellent pieces of music as vastness and sorrow, or queen of borrowed light. Granted this song does introduce the bands heaviest moment around the seventh minute, but still, I couldn't help but feel a little dissatisfied. The next song is at least a good attempt to try and bring back the grit of the group. Hate crystal includes nothing but shrieks and the insanity you expect. Again though I feel cold at the end of the song, really it's not that the son is much different than any other of their songs, but I think the major flaw of this EP is the recording quality.

The drums have a more full, deep sound, which in most cases would be a good thing, but with a black metal band that thrives on the constants of blast beats, tremolo strumming, and faster tempo's, the drums seem to be making a big hole that needs to be filled. The guitars still manage to stay just as atmospheric, if not a little undermixed. I think what really gets me though, is the vocal quality. It's a trap that I've noticed with other Black metal bands, such as enslaved. When they scream into the Mike, you can actually hear the grit in their throat, and to be honest it's kind of gross, and doesn't sound as impacting as it should. Don't get me wrong, Nathan still sounds as horrifying as ever, I just liked it when we weren't shown the flaws quite like this.

Whatever it may be, I'm glad this is only an EP, cause often times the EP does represent the album that will immediately follow it. Malevolent grain is good, but not really up to par with their older material. Nonetheless I'm extremely excited for their next album; Black cascade!

Dim | 3/5 |

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