Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Wolves In The Throne Room - Malevolent Grain CD (album) cover


Wolves In The Throne Room

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
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!

Report this review (#203605)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Wolves in the Throne Room has proven to be relatively one of the most productive black metal bands of the new millennium. Ever since their debut in 2006 we haven't seen a year without a Wolves release. And while 2009 had barely started yet we are generously going to be treated to TWO Wolves releases: the Malevolent Grain EP and the Black Cascade LP.

A Looming Resonance is definitely not a very WITTR-like song. It is monotonous instrumentally, but not disturbingly so. The most unique thing about this song is obviously the clean, female vocals. This is nice, but tends to get boring after more listens. The recurring sentence "Time stands still" is nice and gives the song a distinct atmosphere. It gets faster around the 8 minute mark, but is overall low-tempo for Wolves standards. They seem to work more with drones on this song, which suits a Southern Lord signed band perfectly. This also applies to the noisy crescendo into which the song accumulates.

Hate Crystal: Now this is Wolves in the Throne Room as we know it! It starts out immediately with the all- familiar shrieking vocals, fast guitars and pounding drums. Sometimes it gets interrupted by nice instrumental pieces with a little more prominence of the guitars. As opposed to the opening track a true black metal song, with maybe the exception of the last two minutes, wherein the raw black metal sound flawlessly fades into a smoother, calmer, ambient part.

Overall a nice treat from the guys with an experimental track which gives us something different for a change and a very traditional, consistent second track. The first track is nice for a few times, but, as has already been said, gets less interesting after more listens. Hate Crystal hasn't yet let me down once though and is one of Wolves' finest, especially for fans who, like myself, like Diadem of 12 Stars the best.

Report this review (#205114)
Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the most pleasant releases this year, a wonderful 2-song EP from Black Metal gurus, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM. A cult band for the genre, well-known beyond it, respected in prog/experimental music circles, it has always been a mystery for me. I liked everything about them, their image, their attitude, their manner, everything - except for their music. But 2009 seems to be the year for releases that bring me love to bands' music first (like it has happened with MASTODON already).

So this maybe a definitive release, if you're a WitTR newbie or just can't get into them. Just two tracks, and both are awesome, with my personal favourite being "A Looming Resonance"; haunting female lead vocal, simple yet touching chord progression, "shoegaze-metal" at its best, culminating into bright drone coda. "Hate Crystal" shows more usual WitTR approach, creepy epic Black Metal, but well-contrasting with touching opener. A great introduction for WOLVES' beginners and definitely their best material to date. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#229932)
Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Malevolent Grain' - Wolves In The Throne Room (5/10)

Along with 'Black Cascade' from the same year, 'Malevolent Grain' witnessed a new incarnation of Wolves In The Throne Room, a slightly cleaner, more sharply produced, and less organic band that had also seen lineup changes. 'Malevolent Grain' features two songs for the band. While the past three full length albums have had four tracks each, this two song piece feels almost like half an album, although the incomplete feeling does not take away from the relative strength of these two tracks. While I have never been a real fan of Wolves In The Throne Room, 'Malevolent Grain' stands as being a good slice of post-black metal, that I cannot see not satisfying the band's more dedicated listeners.

The first of these tracks is 'A Looming Resonance', which is an oddly melodic track for Wolves In The Throne Room. It also holds the distinction of being a song by the band that is completely led by clean vocals, here being the female vocals of Jaime Meyers, of Hammers of Misfortune. It is a mid-tempo track that has much more to do with post metal than anything grim and frostbitten; while repetitive and brooding, Meyers' vocals are powerful, and the track builds its melancholy quite well. The lyrical hook 'time stands still' stays in the listeners head, even long after this EP is over.

'Hate Crystal' is the second half of 'Malevolent Grain', and it is alot more typical for Wolves In The Throne Room. The first section of this song revolves around the same monotonous guitar picking and blastbeats that I tend to associate this band with, and it sounds more or less like a song from 'Black Cascade' that didn't quite make it. The second section of this song is a section of extended ambiance that closes off the EP, and it doesn't feel all too necessary, but it is a nice enough touch.

'A Looming Resonance' is an excellent track from this band, and while 'Hate Crystal' doesn't match up, it's a typical track for the band that fans will likely dig. Not a particularly vibrant release, but it's been worth checking out.

Report this review (#511084)
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011 | Review Permalink

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Malevolent Grain ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Malevolent Grain

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.