Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wolves In The Throne Room - "Celestial Lineage" CD

Opening with the ethereal ambiance of the 12-minute "Thuja Magus Imperium", complete with female vocals, it's evident that this isn't your typical black metal album. If anything, "Celestial Lineage" is a post-black metal album, delivering much more than just blasting beats and demonic vocal stylings.

Underneath it all, these eco-warriors eschew the genre's trappings, and create majestic songs that herald a new age of back-to-nature idealism. In fact, both members (and their families) even live (and work) a natural lifestyle and grow their own food. But that's beside the point. The music here blends black metal with ambient, psychedelia, post-rock, and drone in an unusually cohesive fashion.

"Subterranean Initiation" is a bruising and fiery tempest of rolling metal that opens up to a low-and-slow psychedelic/krautrock thud, like a mix between Neurosis and Can, before refueling back to a torrent of cascading black metal stylings. "Woodland Cathedral" is a beautifully evocative stab at medieval Popol Vuh-style ambiance that conjures just what the title implies. "Astral Blood" is another dynamic and masterful 10-minute journey that blasts, lulls, and blasts again. The closing piece, "Prayer Of Transformation", is an epic swell of symphonic post-metal rich with bombast and beauty. A tremendous work, "Celestial Lineage" is Wolves' sonic tour-de-force. (Southern Lord)

Wolves website

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