The fifth album by Wolves In The Throne Room is a companion piece to 2013’s Celestial Lineage, and sees the duo continue to take black metal in bold, exciting and necessary new directions.
Eschewing the genre’s comical aspects (corpse-paint, McSatanism), they take a more elemental approach inspired by grand themes – landscape and time, life and death. There must be something in the water in their native state of Washington, fertile ground for this unique collision of crepuscular post-rock and bleak metal. Like fellow, rain-drenched residents of the Pacific north-west (Earth, Master Musicians Of Bukkake) Nathan and Aaron Weaver embark upon a meditative musical journey that owes as much to the proto-New Age sounds of Popol Vuh’s soundtracks for Werner Herzog as it does to Burzum. Here nothing is rushed. Everything’s infused with the sound of synthesisers that unfurl like flowers before rising in the mix like the morning sun. On Bridge Of Leaves and Sleeping Golden Storm you can almost feel the bubbling mulch and sopping moss of the forest floor underfoot. Their soundworld is utterly fetid yet completely transcendental too. Magnificent, even.