In contrast to the misanthropic attitudes generally ascribed to Black Metal artists, Wolves in the Throne Room
are idealists devoted to utopian visions of a more bucolic existence. The throat-shredding vocals, bestial growls, wall-of sound-guitar and nihilistic attitude that mark the genre have, in the case of this Washington based trio, been fashioned into gothic environmentalism. Espousing a return to primeval forest dwelling and professing an “utter rejection of the modern, mechanistic, materialistic worldview that sees the earth as nothing but raw material to be used as we see fit,” they play cathartic gigs deep in the woods (with generators) loud enough to scare away even the hardiest forest creatures.
Black Metal had its beginnings at the turn of the 80s – the bands Venom and Bathory began as a raw and nihilistic rejection of commercial hard rock – before reflowering in Norway in the early 90s with increasingly goth and self-consciously devilish leanings. Wolves in the Throne Room took up the mantle in 2004, but went down the pagan route. The band, formed by the brothers Nathan (vocals, guitar) and Aaron Weaver (drums) with Rick Dahlin (vocals, guitar) in Olympia, Washington, are devout believers in the power of both nature and Black Metal; “Black metal acknowledges the intrinsic divinity of the universe.” It says on the artist page on the website of their label, Southern Lord. And they tell us not to bother if we don’t feel the same way, “If you listen to Black Metal, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming than [sic] you have failed.”
They weave gothic-folk narratives through their meticulous, sprawling arrangements, drawing listeners into a 'transformative' experience. Indifferent to convention and uncompromising, the band is primarily interested in the visceral power of sound rather than the tropes of particular genres.
The Wolves made two CDrs before their debut album Diadem of 12 Stars
was released February 2006 through Vendlus records. The album was later picked up by Southern Lord. For their second full length, the folk-goth Two Hunters
, WitTR enlisted the help of Earth, Sunn O))) and Boris producer Randall Dunn, and experimental vocalist Jessica Kinney. The album was recorded on tape with minimal use of any digital effects or manipulation.
> Website Wolves in the Throne Room
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