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Wolves In The Throne Room - Wolves in the Throne Room CD (album) cover


Wolves In The Throne Room

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Wolves In The Throne Room' - Wolves In The Throne Room (3/10)

I have certainly heard worse black metal demos out there. Wolves In The Throne Room are an American black metal band that has led the new wave of black metal. Preaching a more supposedly 'good guy' message than the Scandinavian adherents of darkness, this band has since done some great things for the black metal genre, most notably their masterpiece and magnum opus, 'Two Hunters'. Apart from that, I personally haven't found myself too attracted to the band, primarily for their somewhat sloppy and repetitive sound, and also for their outspoken views on the environment (they have admitted their indirect association with eco- terrorism in interviews). The hype of this band aside, they are an intriguing act that is often very hit-or-miss for me. The band's first demo is a very raw representation of the band's sound. Although fairly ambitious for a black metal demo, 'Wolves In The Throne Room' leaves me a little underwhelmed.

There are five songs here, and each of them is a comfortable mini-epic in its own right, at least as far as the ten minute song lengths go. In terms of the actual music, this is very noisy black metal, with disparate post-rock elements thrown in. The riffs are straightforward and are often used in tandem with repetition, and the blastbeats are common here. There's even a little variety of vocals here. Of course the main course are the black metal 'grim rasps', but there are female clean vocals here, as well as a weak-sounding yelp towards the end of the fourth track, 'If This Dark Age Conquers, We Will Leave An Echo'. Although the band is clearly focusing on atmosphere, the execution of this music is not too great. The production lacks the depth or range to realize the band's ambition here, and the songs come across as being dull and monotonous. Although lo-fi production is a staple of much atmospheric black metal, it is not done right here at all.

I suppose Wolves In The Throne Room can be commended for trying to do something beyond generic black metal here, but for all of their hopes, this demo lacks the vision or skill to give the same impression that their latter work would.

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Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011 | Review Permalink

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