Quarterly Review: Wolves in the Throne Room, Gravy Jones, Marmora, Mouth, Les Lekin, Leather Lung, Torso, Jim Healey, Daxma, The Re-Stoned

Posted in Reviews on January 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) - 17th Century Etching, Landscape with Two Farms

The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review continues today with day two of five. I don’t mind telling you — in fact I’m pretty happy to tell you — that this one’s all over the place. Black metal, post-metal, singer-songwriter stuff, psych jams, heavy rock. I feel like I’ve had to go to great pains not to use the word “weird” like 17 times. But I guess that’s what’s doing it for me these days. The universe has plenty of riffs. All the better when they start doing something different or new or even just a little strange. I think, anyhow. Alright, enough lollygagging. Time to dive in.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Wolves in the Throne Room, Thrice Woven

wolves in the throne room thrice woven

True, it’s something of a cliché when it comes to Wolves in the Throne Room to think of their work as “an awaited return,” and perhaps that speaks to the level of anticipation with which their outings are greeted generally. Nonetheless, Thrice Woven arrives via the band’s own Artemisia Records six years after Celestial Lineage, their last proper full-length, and three after its companion, Celestite (review here), so the five-track/42-minute offering from the USBM innovators is legitimately due. The Washington-based troupe’s black-metal-of-the-land remains heavily focused on atmosphere, with a sharp, experimental-feeling turn to ambience and melody in opener “Born from the Serpent’s Eye” and the later drone interlude “Mother Owl, Father Ocean” that precedes the rampaging closer “Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon,” which caps Thrice Woven with a long fade into the sound of rolling waves. Between them, “The Old Ones are with Us” casts a vision of blackened folk-doom that seems to pull off what Agalloch was always aiming for, and centerpiece “Angrboda” blasts through an early wash before splitting near the midsection to minimalism and rebuilding itself on a slow march. 15 years on from their beginning, Wolves in the Throne Room still sound like no one else, and continue to push themselves forward creatively.

Wolves in the Throne Room on Thee Facebooks

Artemisia Records on Bandcamp

 

Gravy Jones, Funeral Pyre

gravy jones funeral pyre

It’s a crazy world into which Gravy Jones invite their listeners on their self-issued debut full-length, Funeral Pyre, and the fire they bring is born of a molten classic psychedelic rock underpinned by low end weight and further distinguished by its use of organ and proto-metallic vocal proclamations. Opener and longest track (immediate points) “Heavens Bliss” tops 10 minutes in its weirdo roll, and subsequent cuts “The Burning of the Witch” and “It Came from the Sea” do little to dispel the off-center vibe, the former dug into rawer NWOBHM-ism and the latter, the centerpiece of the five-tracker, beaming in from some kind of alt-universe Deep Purple idolatry to lead into the particularly doomed “Gilgamesh” and the shuffle-into-noisefest onslaught of the closing title-track. All told it’s 41 minutes of bizarre excursion that’s deceptively cohesive and feels like the start of a longer-term sonic exploration. Whether or not Gravy Jones even out sound-wise or hold to such an unhinged vibe, they definitely pique interest here.

Gravy Jones on Thee Facebooks

Gravy Jones on Bandcamp

 

Marmora, Criterion

marmora criterion

Criterion – yes, like the collection – is the debut EP from Chicago four-piece Marmora, who released a single in 2013 before the core brotherly trio of Zaid (guitar), Alejandro (bass) and Ulysses (drums) Salazar hooked up with vocalist/guitarist/synthesist Allan Cardenas in 2015. The three-tracker that has resulted begins with its title-cut, which thrusts forth a wash of heavy post-rock that makes an impression in weight as much as space before turning to the more grounded, propulsive, aggressive and punkishly noise-caked “Apathy” and closer “Flowers in Your Garden,” which turns traditional heavy rock riffery on its head with frenetic drum work and rhythmic turns that feel born of modern progressive metal. Significant as the crunch factor and aggro pulsations are, Criterion isn’t at all without a corresponding sense of atmosphere, and though there isn’t much tying these three tracks together, for a first EP, there doesn’t need to be. Let that come later. For now, the boot to the ass is enough.

Marmora on Thee Facebooks

Marmora on Bandcamp

 

Mouth, Live ’71

mouth live 71

Perhaps in part as a holdover between their 2017 second album, Vortex (review here), and the impending Floating to be issued in 2018, German progressive retroists Mouth offer Live ’71. No, it was not actually recorded in 1971. Nor, to my knowledge, was it recorded in 2071 and sent back in time in a slingshot maneuver around the sun. It’s just a play on the raw, captured-from-the-stage sound of the 55-minute set, which opens at a 19-minute sprawl with “Vortex” itself and only deep-dives further from there, whether it’s into the keyboard throb of “Parade,” the nuanced twists of “Into the Light” or the more straightforward riffing of “On the Boat.” There’s room for all this scope and the stomp of “Master Volume Voice” in a Mouth set, it would seem, and if Live ’71 is indeed a stopgap, it’s one that shows off the individualized personality of the long-running band who seem to still be exploring even as they approach the 20-year mark.

Mouth on Thee Facebooks

Mouth on Bandcamp

 

Les Lekin, Died with Fear

les lekin died with fear

A second full-length from Austrian heavy psych trio Les Lekin, Died with Fear is perhaps more threatening in its title than in its overall aesthetic. The four inclusions on the 43-minute follow-up to 2014’s All Black Rainbow Moon (review here) set their mission not necessarily in conveying terror or some overarching sense of darkness – though low end is a major factor throughout – as in cosmic hypnosis born of repetition and chemistry-fueled heavy psychedelic progressivism. Well at home in the extended and atmospheric “Orca” (10:41), “Inert” (10:21), “Vast” (8:59) and “Morph” (13:34), the three-piece of guitarist Peter G., bassist Beat B. and drummer Kerstin W. recorded live and in so doing held fast to what feels very much like a natural and developing dynamic between them, their material all the more fluid for it but carrying more of a sense of craft than most might expect from a release that, ostensibly, is based around jams. Sweeping and switched-on in kind, Died with Fear turns out to be remarkably vibrant for something under a banner so grim.

Les Lekin on Thee Facebooks

Tonzonen Records webstore

 

Leather Lung, Lost in Temptation

leather lung lost in temptation

Oh, they’re mad about it, to be sure. I’m not sure what ‘it’ ultimately is, but whatever, it’s got Leather Lung good and pissed off. Still, the Boston-based onslaught specialists’ debut full-length, Lost in Temptation, has more to its cacophony than sheer violence, and though that intelligence is somewhat undercut by the hey-check-it-out-it’s-cartoon-tits-and-also-because-snakes-are-like-wieners cover art, the marriage between fuckall noise intensity on “Gin and Chronic” and trades between growl-topped thrust and more open and melodic plod on “Shadow of the Scythe” and upbeat rock on “Momentum of Misfortune.” Put it in your “go figure” file that the closer “Destination: Void,” which is marked as an outro, is the longest inclusion on the 28-minute offering, but by then due pummel has been served throughout pieces like “Deaf Adder” and “Freak Flag” amid the willful stoner idolatry of “The Spice Melange,” so there’s texture in the assault as well. Yeah though, that cover. Woof.

Leather Lung on Thee Facebooks

Leather Lung on Bandcamp

 

Torso, Limbs

torso limbs

I won’t deny the strength of approach Austria’s Torso demonstrate across Limbs, their StoneFree Records debut LP, in the straightforward structures of songs like “Meaning Existence” or “Mirror of My Mind” or “Skinny and Bony” and the semi-acoustic penultimate grown-up-grunge alternarocker “Down the Highway,” but it’s hard to listen to the nine-minute spread of “Red Moon” in the midsection of the album and not come away from its patient psychedelic execution thinking of it as a highlight. Shades of post-rock and moodier fare make themselves known in “Come Closer” and the righteously melodic “Ride Up,” and closer “Voices” delivers a resounding payoff, but it’s “Red Moon” that summarizes the atmospheric and emotional scope with which Torso are working and most draws together the various elements at play into a cohesive singularity. One hopes it’s a model they’ll follow going forward, but neither should doing so necessarily draw away from the songwriting prowess they show here. It’s a balance that, having been struck, feels ready to be manipulated.

Torso on Thee Facebooks

StoneFree Records website

 

Jim Healey, Just a Minute More

jim healey just a minute more

Companioned immediately by a digital release of the demos on which it’s based, including four other songs that didn’t make the cut of the final, studio-recorded EP, Jim Healey’s Just a Minute More conveys its sense of longing in the title and moves quickly to stake its place in a long-running canon of singer-songwriterisms. Healey, known for fronting metal and heavy rock acts like We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai, Set Fire, etc., could easily come across as a case of dual personality in the sweetly, unabashedly sentimental, acoustic-based opener “The Road” or the more-plugged-in “You and I” at the outset, but in the fuzzed-out centerpiece “Swamp Thing,” the emotionally weighted memorable hook of “Faced,” and the piano-topped payoff of closer “Burn Up,” the 18-minute EP unfurls a sense of variety and a full-band sound that sets the project Jim Healey on its own course even apart from the man himself. Some of those other demos aren’t too bad either. Just saying.

Jim Healey on Thee Facebooks

Jim Healey on Bandcamp

 

Daxma, The Head Which Becomes the Skull

daxma-the-head-which-becomes-the-skull

Signed to Magnetic Eye for the release, Oakland post-metal five-piece Daxma answer the ambition of their half-hour single-song 2016 debut EP, The Nowhere of Shangri-La, with the even-fuller-length The Head Which Becomes the Skull, demonstrating a clear intent toward sonic patience and ambient reach that balances subtle builds and crashes with engaging immersiveness and nod. Three of the six total inclusions top 10 minutes, and within opener “Birth” (10:53), “Abandoning All Hope” (11:34) and the penultimate “Our Lives Will be Erased by the Shifting Sands of the Desert” (13:42), one finds significant breadth, but not to be discounted either are the roll of “Wanderings/Beneath the Sky,” the avant feel of the closing title-track or even the 80-second drone interlude “Aufheben,” which like all that surrounds it, feeds into a consuming ambience that undercuts the notion of The Head Which Becomes the Skull as a debut album for its purposefulness and evocative soundscaping.

Daxma on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

 

The Re-Stoned, Chronoclasm

the re-stoned chronoclasm

For their first new outing since they revisited their debut EP in 2016 with Reptiles Return (review here), Moscow instrumentalists The Re-Stoned cast forth Chronoclasm, a six-track long-player of new material recorded over 2015 and 2016 that ties together its near-hour-long runtime with a consistency of guitarist Ilya Lipkin’s lead tone and a steady interweaving of acoustic elements. “Human Without Body,” “Save Me Under the Emerald Glass,” “Psychedelic Soya Barbecue” and the title-track seem to have some nuance of countrified swing to their groove, but it’s lysergic swirl that ultimately rules the day throughout Chronoclasm, Yaroslav Shevchenko’s drums keeping the material grounded around Lipkin’s guitar and Vladimir Kislyakov’s bass. The trio are joined on percussion by Evgeniy Tkachev on percussion for the CD bonus track “Quartz Crystals,” which picks up from the quiet end of “Chronoclasm” itself and feels like a nine-minute improve extension of its serene mood, adding further progressive sensibility to an already wide scope.

The Re-Stoned on Thee Facebooks

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

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Black Bone Exorcism Sign to DHU Records; Crack the Bone, Break the Heart out Oct. 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

It’s the kind of record one might be tempted to refer to as a ‘slab,’ and the announcement has come through that the debut release from Washington bashers Black Bone Exorcism, Crack the Bone, Break the Heart, will be released on CD through DHU Records on Oct. 29. For you vinyl heads — and I know you’re out there — it’s looking like the first part of 2017, though I don’t have an exact date as yet. Black Bone Exorcism will celebrate the coming of the CD/DL version by joining forces with none other than Brothers of the Sonic Cloth at in Fremont, WA. Should be an evening of much tonal heft and revelry in deeply-weighted plunder. If you’re not sure just what the hell that means, check out “Unknown, Against Light” below.

Black Bone Exorcism posted the following update about the signing and other doings:

black-bone-exorcism-crack-the-bone-break-the-heart

Black Bone Exorcism is VERY proud to announce that we have signed an international vinyl distribution deal with D.H.U. Records. D.H.U. has been a HUGE force in supporting the heavy DIY scene all over the world, and it’s an honor to be part of the Blackened Filth that they will be infecting this dark planet with! The vinyl release is set for early 2017, so be on the lookout for it’s availability both at shows and in our online merch shop (opening soon).

Our self released recording “Crack the Bone, Break the Heart” will be unleashed on October 29th, 2016, opening up for none other than Brothers of the Sonic Cloth at our new favorite joint, Substation in Fremont.

Again, we are beyond stoked to be part of the D.H.U. Tribe! They will truly help us get our art to places we could never touch, and this has been our mission since day one.

For now, we give you a taste of what is to come. View the sorrow and crushing force that will change your view of the world in our Album Trailer below. Thank you to everyone that has supported us over the past 3 years. This is just the beginning…

Dave Krön: Guitar & Vocals
Brandon Wilder: Guitar & Samples
Keith Greer: Drums
Mike Lee: Bass

https://www.facebook.com/blackboneexorcism/
http://instagram.com/bbxorcism
http://twitter.com/bbexorcism
https://soundcloud.com/blackboneexorcism/tracks
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
http://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

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Wolves in the Throne Room to Release New Album in 2014

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 19th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Not much by way of details at this point, but I figured any news about a new Wolves in the Throne Room album would probably be better than none. Reportedly more info is coming next month on the Washington outfit’s fifth album and the follow-up to 2011’s Celestial Lineage, but as a preliminary, the PR wire sent initial word that writing is almost completed. Groovy.

So maybe a spring or summer release? I don’t know. Either way, it’s good news:

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM: Recordings Penned For 2014 Release

Barring the recent release of their BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini live 12″, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM have been keeping a low profile since the conclusion of the world-spanning tour that supported their most recent LP, Celestial Lineage. Now, word comes that the band, along with producer Randall Dunn, has been quietly cultivating the next chapter in their ongoing musical evolution. While little else is known of the impending recordings as of now, the brothers Weaver have confirmed that, the music is currently in the final stages, being prepared for release in the first quarter of 2014. An official communiqué on WITTR’s impending 2014 actions will be announced very early in the New Year.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM’s BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini was released in late November, once again via Southern Lord Recordings, who also unveiled the act’s acclaimed second LP, Two Hunters (2007), the Malevolent Grain EP and Black Cascade LP (2009), and most recently the triumphant Celestial Lineage LP (2011). The BBC 12″ contains the massive “Prayer of Transformation” and “Thuja Magus Imperium” — pieces culled from Celestial Lineage and recorded live at the BBC’s storied Maida Vale Studios while WITTR was in the midst of a tour of the UK. While far from a full length LP, BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini served to tide anxious fans over, while new production was still being organized.

Immediately after their 2004 inception, Olympia, Washington’s WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM have been leaders in the forward advancement of American metal, and have since been a worldwide force in pushing the boundaries of the black metal genus into new realms. The band’s trance-inducing delivery of their anthems has been witnessed by fans internationally in the live setting, as WITTR has trekked across most of the habitable continents over the past decade. While they’ve performed at massive festivals including Roadburn, Hell Fest and Roskilde, the band also veers far from the well-trod paths, booking shows at unconventional venues and art spaces in addition to performing in barns, on beaches and in forests, bringing their wholly underground and uncompromising ethos to fruition with their fans.

http://www.wittr.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wolves-In-The-Throne-Room/48294546133

Wolves in the Throne Room, BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini (2013)

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Earth Interview with Dylan Carlson: The Zenith-Bound Contradictions of Angels and Demons

Posted in Features on February 11th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

As the creative center and driving force behind Earth, guitarist Dylan Carlson seems to have a permanent seat at the forefront of progressive musicality. For over 20 years (admittedly, with a break in there following 1996’s Pentastar: In the Style of Demons), Carlson‘s droning work has been instrumental in setting the course for bands across a variety of genres, and his influence can be felt in modern psychedelia, doom metal, stoner rock, noise and elsewhere.

Even that’s selling it light. I remember a chance meeting with the dudes from hippie/freak folk outfit Akron/Family in 2008 and all they wanted to talk about was Earth‘s then-new release, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull. The level of impact albums like Earth 2, the recently-reissued Extra-Capsular Extraction and Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method — the latter the launch-point for what Carlson seems to thinks of as “new Earth” — is inestimable. As Earth have always existed outside the confines of genre or expectation, so too has their reach been limitless.

I’ve already reviewed it, so I’ll keep the ranting about Earth‘s latest album, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I, to a minimum. Carlson — once again tasked with revamping the band’s lineup around himself and longtime drummer Adrienne Davies — focuses on heightened melody and improvisation, less layering than there was on The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, and by incorporating the warm bass of Karl Blau (already left the band) and the cello of Lori Goldston, the group arrives at a sound both natural and constructed, pastoral and exciting. It is a varied, and frankly, gorgeous record.

We spoke for the following interview for nearly an hour. Carlson‘s voice shares some of the same hypnotic deliberate calmness as does his guitar, and as he spoke about his opinions on physical vs. digital product, Earth‘s rotating cast, the differences between instrumental and vocalized songwriting, the themes at play on Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I and why his preferences have shifted to playing live over recording, it was easy to hear that the atmospheres affected through his music are a clear extension of the man himself. I hope that comes through as you read.

Full Q&A is after the jump. Please enjoy.

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Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I: A New Dawn for Earth

Posted in Reviews on December 22nd, 2010 by JJ Koczan

At this point, 21 years into a massively influential career (if the band was a person, that person would be able to drink legally), Olympia, Washington, drone champions Earth are really only comparable to themselves. Guitarist/bandleader Dylan Carlson, whose work has set more ships sailing than did Helen of Troy, continues ceaselessly to refine and redefine Earth’s sound, working with a range of players and adopting conceptual aesthetics on a by-album basis. Earth’s latest hour-long opus, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I (Southern Lord) continues a line of remarkably strong outings, started with the band’s 2005 studio revival, Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method and continued on both the 2007 Hibernaculum EP of re-recorded earlier material and 2008’s brilliant The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull full-length. Fans of those offerings will recognize some elements on Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I, but as ever, Earth have maintained their penchant for subtle sonic shifts that wind up making a huge difference in their overall affect.

Earth’s music is like a sentence that does the work of a paragraph. Joining Carlson on Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I are longtime drummer Adrienne Davies and newcomers Karl Blau on electric bass (Angelina Baldoz will play live) and cellist Lori Goldston, who makes her mark on the album immediately on opener “Old Black.” A rocker by Earth standards, “Old Black” isn’t so far removed from the Americana vibes of Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, but the bare minimalism of that record is replaced by a fullness of sound brought on by the inclusion of bass and most especially the cello, which runs a naturalistic drone in long-held notes playing beneath the guitar and drums. Goldston runs her own lines for sure, accompanying rather than following Dylan’s guitar as Blau mostly does on bass, and making the songs all the more lush and engaging. The purported concept behind Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I was a partial paean to British acid folk, and listening to “Old Black” or the closing title track, I could almost hear a Sandy Denny-type of voice over the material, though a song like “Father Midnight,” which follows the opener, is most exemplary of Earth’s own work over the last six years.

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Earth: Placating the Bureaucracy

Posted in Reviews on November 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Perhaps the most striking thing about Earth’s A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra-Capsular Extraction — which combines the band’s 1991 debut EP, Extra-Capsular Extraction with cuts from their 1990 demo previously available as bonus tracks from No Quarter’s 2001 reissue of 1995’s Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars Live (you get all that?) — is that if it came across my desk today and I popped it in for review, it wouldn’t be at all out of date. I wouldn’t call it innovative, or laud it for how it will change riffy drone forever, but this kind of stuff is most definitely still being made. It goes to show that whatever the venerated Olympia, Washington, outfit get up to, they seem to be ahead of their time. Certainly they’ve continued to prove that throughout their career, from the low frequency noise of Earth 2 in 1993 to the beginning of a new era with 2005’s Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method. Even now, as main songwriter and guitarist Dylan Carlson prepares to enter his 21st year operating under the Earth moniker, the push is still toward innovating and refining the creative process.

I don’t doubt that it was a bureaucratic desire that led to the album’s being reissued, perhaps by Southern Lord, perhaps by Carlson or the band wanting to mark the 20th anniversary of some of this material, but whatever it is, the new visitation of Extra-Capsular Extraction finds it no less relevant for the time passed. In fact, given the trail of influence Earth has left behind them, they’re probably more relevant now than they ever were at the time. Nonetheless, the “bureaucratic desire” is also obviously a play on the two-part piece that makes up half of the original EP, “A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge.” On both “Part 1” and “Part 2,” Earth prove they were ahead of the game entirely, evoking an atmosphere that not even Godflesh would come close to touching for some years yet. Carlson, joined in Earth at the time by bassist/percussionist Joe Preston (Melvins, High on Fire, Thrones, etc.) and bassist Dave Harwell, provides landmark riffing that’s slow enough (especially compared to most of what was coming out of their geographic region at the time) to be called drone, but still somewhat groove-based. Sabbath heads and experimental geeks would have been on it, but the grunge kids must have shit their pants.

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Earth and Wolves in the Throne Room Team Join Forces for Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 11th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

As if there was ever a bad time to be on the West Coast of the US, when Earth and Wolves in the Throne Room roll into town, life must seem especially sweet. Trapped in the perpetual gray of a Jersey Spring, I wouldn’t know, but I can only imagine it involves the stripping away of clothes and the giving away of vast sums of cash. And hoverboards, dammit.

Our dear friend the PR wire confirms the varying levels and interpretations of paradise:

Earth have joined up with label mates Wolves in the Throne Room for a week-and-a-half long West Coast tour for this April. The string of dates will also include opening support from cellist Lori Goldston, who will also be part of Earth‘s live lineup for the tour.

Earth have been finalizing material for their next full-length to be released on Southern Lord Recordings by early 2011, and will be showcasing some of these new songs on the tour. The Earth lineup on these dates shall consist of:

Dylan Carlson – Guitar
Adrienne Davies – Drums
Karl Blau – Bass
Lori Goldston – Cello

Wolves in the Throne Room have just completed their first Australian tour, alongside French doom unit Monarch!, and will appear alongside Shrinebuilder at a special one-off East Coast appearance in New York City tonight.

Earth / Wolves in the Throne Room / Lori Goldston April 2010 Tour:

4/14/2010 The Oak Street SpeakeasyEugene, OR
4/15/2010 NoctrumEureka, CA
4/16/2010 Slim’sSan Francisco, CA
4/17/2010 Brookdale LodgeSanta Cruz, CA
4/19/2010 Ché CaféSan Diego, CA
4/20/2010 The EchoPlexLos Angeles, CA
4/22/2010 RotturePortland, OR
4/23/2010 Neumo’sSeattle, WA
4/24/2010 Capital TheatreOlympia, WA with special guests Mount Eerie and Ô Paon

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Here’s the Only Wolves in the Throne Room Interview You’ll See This Album Cycle Without a Farming Question

Posted in Features on March 5th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

They like trees and not showing their faces.In terms of heavy ambience, there are few in the realm of black metal who do it as well as Olympia, WA‘s Wolves in the Throne Room. Helmed by brothers Nathan (guitar/vocals) and Aaron Weaver (drums), the band has been igniting cross-genre acclaim since debuting with Diadem of 12 Stars (Vendlus) in 2006. The response to that record was so strong that it led to Southern Lord signing them and releasing follow-up Two Hunters. They explored their trance-inducing side on this year’s Malevolent Grain EP and are already in the process of issuing the next full-length, Black Cascade. Known almost as much for their strong stance on environmental issues as for their music, the band makes a strong argument in favor of paying attention to the latter with this latest work.

I’ll spare the wax poetry since the review of Black Cascade went up just a couple days ago. Certainly there’s enough of it there. In the meantime, after the jump you can read an extended interview with Aaron Weaver about the troubles of touring and playing corporately-sponsored functions such as the recent Scion Fest in Atlanta, keeping the balance between clarity and a natural sound, and tightening the Wolves in the Throne Room songwriting process so the songs can be better presented live. Dig it.

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