Wolves in the Throne Room

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Wolves in the Throne Room
WITTR 2017 official press photo.jpg
Wolves in the Throne Room 2017 press photo
Background information
Origin Olympia, Washington, United States
Genres
Years active 2003–present
Labels Southern Lord, Vendlus, Artemisia
Associated acts Asunder, Dystopia, Ludicra, Fauna, Middian
Website wittr.com
Members Nathan Weaver
Aaron Weaver
Kody Keyworth

Wolves in the Throne Room is an American black metal band formed in 2003 in Olympia, Washington[1] by brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver. They have released six full-length albums, two live albums, and one EP to date. They have stated one of the founding concepts of the band to be channeling the "energies of the Pacific Northwest's landscape" into musical form.[1]

History

Weaver brothers Nathan (left) and Aaron (right) formed the band in 2003.

Formation and Diadem of 12 Stars (2003–2006)

Brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver formed the band in 2003.[1] Their first practice took place in a falling-down cabin located on the then-abandoned and overgrown Calliope Farm, which they had recently moved to. Nathan met Nick Paul at a local party and the three began to write material for their first demo. At the time, Nick was heavily influenced by thrash speed and death metal, citing bands like Death, and Bolt Thrower, as well as death rock influences such as Swans, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Fields of the Nephilim. Aaron and Nathan's musical style was more informed by crust, doom, and Norwegian and Bay Area black metal.

The band's first release was their 2004 demo, a black CDR wrapped in fur with moss inside the lyric sheet.[2] Nick Paul left the band soon after the first demo was recorded.

Richard Dalahn joined the band in early 2005. They then began working on material for a second demo, which would become Diadem of 12 Stars.

Their debut full-length album Diadem of 12 Stars was released in 2006.[3] Diadem was recorded with a budget of $1100 by Tim Green at Louder Studios in San Francisco.[4][5] The band played shows on the way down to San Francisco to raise money for the project and borrowed equipment from local band Ludicra.

Nathan had met singer Jamie Myers from the bands Hammers of Misfortune and Like Flies on Flesh at a squat show in Oakland on a previous tour and asked to her sing on the album. Jamie was nine months pregnant during recording of her vocal tracks.

The album attracted the attention of Southern Lord Records, who signed the band, reissuing it on vinyl.[6]

The debut record received positive reviews, with Pitchfork stating that, "it's the inclusion of folk and goth that separates Wolves in the Throne Room from the pack, breaking up the madness with moments of poetic clarity."[7]

Two Hunters and Black Cascade (2007–2010)

Live at De Helling, Utrecht in 2010

They released their second full-length album Two Hunters in 2007, the first part of a trilogy of albums that was concluded with Celestial Lineage. Two Hunters was the first time the band worked with producer Randall Dunn, who has produced all of their subsequent releases. During the Two Hunters sessions, the band began to work with analog synthesizers, which has become a crucial feature in the band's sound.[1] Persian classical singer Jessika Kenney performed vocals on the songs "Cleansing" and "I Will Lay Down my Bones Among The Rocks And Roots."

Two Hunters received positive reviews, with reviewers praising the band's subtle blending of conventional metal and post-rock genres.[8]

Their third album Black Cascade was released in March 2009, again through Southern Lord.[9] The album featured a much rawer and more stripped-down sound, and the band has said that they "wanted to record an album that focussed on guitar, drums and vocals, rather than studio explorations."[1] After the release of Black Cascade, the band began a period of touring in the United States and Europe supporting Sunn O))), Earth, and Weedeater.[10] The played at both 2008 and 2009 RoadBurn festivals, Hellfest, Grasspop, and Roskilde. Roadburn released a Live at Roadburn 2008 album in early 2009.

Wolves in the Throne Room were chosen by Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the 2010 All Tomorrow's Parties festival held in Minehead, UK.[11]

Celestial Lineage, Celestite and upcoming sixth album (2011–present)

Live at Roadburn Festival 2017

The band released their fourth full-length album Celestial Lineage on September 13, 2011, again produced by Randall Dunn.[12] This record was the first that the band wrote and recorded as a two-some.

Music critic Brandon Stosuy described Celestial Lineage as "American black metal's idiosyncratic defining record of 2011".[13] AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia argued that the album married the differing sounds of the two previous albums, "resulting in their most refined and confident outing to date."[14]

In January, 2014, it was announced that a 'companion album' to the opus Celestial Lineage was set to be released, entitled Celestite.[15] Celestite was released in North America on Artemisia Records on July 8, 2014 and was described as an experimental extension on musical themes explored in their previous album Celestial Lineage.[16]

Daniel Ross of The Quietus described the album as a departure from the band's "plectrum-annihilating assault" and praised the band's ability to act as, "enablers of specific atmospheres, able to handhold a listener through incredibly dense forest in very low light."[17]

In June 2016, the band remastered and reissued their first album Diadem of 12 Stars, and announced a North American tour.[18]

In 2016, the band began work on a new record,[19] listed under the name Thrice Woven on the band's Bandcamp page. Initially set for release on September 22, 2017, it was released three days earlier on September 19. The band will also be touring US and Europe in the following months.

Musical style

The band's music has been described as "atmospheric black metal" " and "Cascadian black metal".[20][21][22][23] They are also been considered significant to post-metal through their combination of "ambience and violence" to create "emotionally impacting" music, especially on Two Hunters.[24]

Wolves in the Throne Room has not incorporated most of the traditional traits of black metal such as corpse paint, the use of pseudonyms and Satanic imagery.[25][26] Member Aaron Weaver has said, "Wolves in the Throne Room is not black metal, or, more accurately, we play black metal on our own terms, for our own reasons."[5] And unlike most modern metal bands, Wolves in the Throne Room always use vintage amplifiers and recording equipment.[1]

Aaron Weaver has also described their music as "striving to operate on the mythic level", commenting that "I think there's this sense that we've lost something and we can't have it back. And maybe it's not something we ever wanted to begin with. That sense of despair and loss and you don't even know what you lost. That's one of the central themes in black metal and that runs through our records as well." He went on to add that one of the central ideals of the band is "the idea of uncovering the occult or the spiritual or the energetic reality of place. Being deeply connected to a place and creating music and art that rises up out of a landscape."[27]

Wolves in the Throne Room's sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal.[4][25] Wolves in the Throne Room has often cited American band Neurosis as a key inspiration because their music "operates on a deep and intense mythic level".[25][28] They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.[29]

Live performance

Live in 2016

Wolves in the Throne Room prefer their live concerts to be firelit, whether it be performing outdoors or in an indoor venue.[30] The band also does not permit flash photography at their shows.[31]

Members

  • Nathan Weaver – guitar, lead vocals (2003–present)
  • Aaron Weaver – drums, bass, synthesizers (2003–present)
  • Kody Keyworth – guitar, vocals (2017–present)
Session musicians
  • Will Lindsay – guitar, backing vocals, bass on Black Cascade; guitar on Malevolent Grain
  • Richard Dahlin – guitar on 2005 Demo, Diadem of 12 stars, Two Hunters
  • Nick Paul – guitar on Wolves in the Throne Room
  • Jamie Myers – sung vocals on Diadem of 12 Stars, Malevolent Grain
  • Jessika Kenney – sung vocals on Two Hunters and Celestial Lineage
  • Will Lindsay (Middian) – bass on Live at Roadburn 2008
  • Dino Sommese (Dystopia, Asunder) – guest vocals
  • Ross Sewage (Ludicra, Impaled) – bass on 2008 Autumn US tour and 2009 Winter European tour
  • Oscar Sparbell (Christian Mistress) – bass on 2009 US and European tours

Discography

Studio albums
EPs
Live albums
Demos

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Official Biography". Wittr.com. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  2. ^ "Aquarius Records". Aquarius Records. 
  3. ^ Gnade, Adam (2006) "Forest Doom: Black Wolves Hunt Souls in the Throne Room", Portland Mercury, October 5, 2006, retrieved December 24, 2011
  4. ^ a b Grow, Kory (2005) "Wolves in the Throne Room", CMJ New Music Monthly, Issue 139, p. 15, retrieved December 24, 2011
  5. ^ a b "Black Metal on Their Own Terms". Ultimate Metal. 
  6. ^ "Diadem of 12 Stars, by Wolves in the Throne Room". Wolves in the Throne Room. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  7. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room: Diadem of 12 Stars Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room: Two Hunters Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  9. ^ Ratliff, Ben (2009) "Expansive Pop, Hypnotic Jazz, Surprising Metal", The New York Times, March 8, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
  10. ^ "Sunn 0))), Earth, Weedeater mini-tour". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  11. ^ "GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Hand Pick Wolves in the Throne Room, Neurosis, Weird Al Yankovic for UK Festival". SMN News. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  12. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo "Celestial Lineage Review", Allmusic, retrieved December 24, 2011
  13. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (November 28, 2011) "The Top 40 Metal Albums of 2011", Pitchfork Media, retrieved December 24, 2011
  14. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  15. ^ Wolves In The Throne Room Reveal Details Of New “Companion” Album metalhammer.co.uk. 28 January 2014. Retrieved on 14 February 2014.
  16. ^ Celestite release details & West coast tour dates wittr.com. 07 May, 2014. Retrieved on 28 July, 2014.
  17. ^ "The Quietus | Reviews | Wolves In The Throne Room". The Quietus. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  18. ^ "Wolves in the Throne Room Reissue 'Diadem of 12 Stars,' Plot North American Tour". Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  19. ^ "WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Is Working On A New Record In Its Rebuilt Studio - Metal Injection". Metal Injection. 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  20. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (September 23, 2011). "Pitchfork reviews". 
  21. ^ Hopper, Jessica (2009) "Wolves in the Throne Room. It's organic metal", Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2009, p. 13 ('On the Town' section)
  22. ^ Masciandaro, Nicola et al. (2010) Hideous Gnosis, Createspace, ISBN 978-1-4505-7216-3, p. 109
  23. ^ Brenner, Dave (August 19, 2011). "Earsplit Compound". 
  24. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (4 August 2016). "A Brief History of Post-Metal". Bandcamp. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  25. ^ a b c Hopper, Jessica (2009) "Back to the land with the Wolves", Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2009, retrieved December 24, 2011
  26. ^ "Ravishing Grimness". Hails and Horns. 
  27. ^ Murphy, Tom (2011-09-30). "Aaron Weaver of Wolves in the Throne Room about the mythic levels his band operates on". Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  28. ^ "An Interview with Wolves in the Throne Room's Aaron Weaver". Brooklyn Vegan. 
  29. ^ WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Album Nears Completion thegauntlet.com. July 11, 2011. Retrieved on July 11, 2011.
  30. ^ Anson, Matthew Grant (2011) "Year in Review: The best concerts of 2011", The Copenhagen Post, December 22, 2011, retrieved December 24, 2011
  31. ^ Murphy, Tom (2011-10-01). "Review: Wolves in the Throne Room at Rhinoceropolis, 9/30/11 | Westword". Blogs.westword.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Wolves in the Throne Room at Facebook
  • Interview on veganism and deep ecology on Veganzetta magazine [1]
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