Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wolves in the Throne Room - Black Cascade

Wolves in the Throne Room
Black Cascade
Southern Lord

Black metal will always be associated with the frozen climes of Norway and other Scandinavian locales, thanks not only to the presence of so many seminal bands, but also the assorted church burnings, murders, empty corpse paint tubes, etc. scattered about the region. But there are plenty of quality U.S. black metal (or USBM – I bet the second graders have a field day with that one) bands, of which Wolves in the Throne Room is one of the best. The Wolves hail from the Pacific Northwest, home to its own desolate-but-beautiful vistas and gloomy, somehow comforting weather patterns, and Black Cascade sounds it. The fog-encrusted panorama of Ex Cathedra sits next to the deathly space travel of Ahrimanic Trance; the violence of Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog bookends with the blackened drift of Crystal Ammunition. Melancholy atmosphere entwines with harsh blast beats; melody fellates brutality. Classic black metal, in other words.

- Michael Toland

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