Wolves In The Throne Room
BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini
I hate to say it, but this album really isn’t all that necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a Wolves fan since their debut and have considered the bulk of their work to be respectable black metal of the highest order. However, this is a very short cash grab that sees the band performing just two tracks from their latest album, Celestial Lineage. Recorded in 2011, I have no idea why they didn’t just open this one up as a freebie. How these guys managed to swim across the sea and land on English soil is well beyond me, and how the BBC let them come in to play their raucous form of black metal in a commercial setting also confounds me. But it was done and it is just as you might expect, with “Prayer Of Transformation” being the mostly atmospheric thing that was on the album (to be honest, there’s not much difference in the album recording and the live setting, aside from a large chunk of fuzz) and “Thuja Magus Imperium” being also the mostly atmospheric thing that was on the album. While there are certain black metal injections, I feel that the band abuse these atmospheres just a bit too much and are torn between a traditional black metal act and an atmospheric black metal act.
There are glimmers on the disc that show that these guys are trying, but I’m wont to say that this act may be well past its prime now, especially with all of the so-called “hipster black metal” bands taking influence from these and other acts, regurgitating it back in more intriguing fashions. Not that the melodies won’t save it, but you’re still being unfortunately suckered into buying two tracks that you’ve already paid for, which sound just like they did when you paid for them. Instead of an extra treat for the fans, maybe like a stream or a gift to people who have followed the legacy of this act, the band instead wants you to pay for something that is ultimately just not worth it in the long run. Seeing as Celestial Lineage graced our ears in 2011, it should only be a matter of time before these gentlemen offer us a new slab of black metal next year. If it’ll even be black metal at all! But time will undoubtedly tell. (Eric May)